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Poor business redundancy strategies lead to staff poaching

A growing numbers of Australian businesses are coming under threat as poor redundancy strategies have led to an increase in the poaching of organisations’ remaining talent.

In such a climate of instability, employees are becoming increasingly concerned about job security, leaving them open to being head hunted from competitor organisations.

Chandler Macleod Group (CMG) has found that in organisations where redundancies are being felt, the remaining employee’s fear they will be next to go, leaving them feeling stressed and vulnerable and open to approaches from competitor organisations. An overwhelming 76 percent of employees surveyed, working for organisations that have recently made redundancies, plan to move jobs within the next six months.

CMG executive general manager of professional & executive recruitment, Peter Gleeson, said that this is often due to poor redundancy and workforce planning practices.

“The instability resulting from restructuring means that many organisations can be guaranteed that their strongest competitors will be taking advantage of this situation and will be actively looking at ways to poach their top talent and it’s crucial that businesses get on the front foot in order to secure their core talent pools.”

Employers need to do more to incentivise their staff, along with motivating and encouraging staff to ensure they stay with the organisation.

“Unfortunately, at a time when all employees are looking for guidance, many organisations lack the necessary leadership skills to navigate their business through a severe economic downturn. Management styles needs to be significantly altered in negative times and some are only now realising that they are ‘recession novices’,” Gleeson said.

Businesses need to review and fine tune their redundancy strategies to cater to current and future market conditions. Employers should consider the following checklist for retaining talented staff:

  • Openly communicate during and post redundancies

Communication, support, understanding and empathy are essential when redundancies have been made.  Remaining employees want to know that colleagues, who have lost their jobs, are being well supported with counselling and outplacement services.  They also want to understand how the flow-on affect will impact their workload and how they will be supported.  The important thing is to be as open and honest and do not make promises which cannot be kept.

  • Develop a core nucleus of people supplemented with contract or temporary labour

A broader and smarter policy is to retain and develop a core nucleus of people and supplement it with contract or temporary labour to ensure the team of pivotal talent is not burnt out.

  • Set mutually agreed KPIs

Leaders need to explain the revised strategy to employees so they understand their roles will need to change as a result of the reduced headcount. Also, they need to understand what’s most important in their day-to-day roles to make a difference to the organisation while being aware of the upskilling and reward they will be given for taking on additional work. One of the most important things to put in place is rigid parameters on what’s expected from each employee by setting mutually agreed KPIs and rewards.

  • Understand the resilience and stress levels of each employee

The best leaders are the ones that take the time to understand what’s going on with their people and have empathy and understanding.  It’s essential to openly communicate with individuals to understand their resilience, as well as the stress impact they are facing at work and home.

While employers cannot avoid the stress that comes with volatile markets, it how they deal with and accommodate it that makes the difference. Leaders need to show respect and continue to recognise and reward employees emotionally and/or financially. Creating a strong business is a team issue.

David Reynolds is the executive general manager of Chandler Macleod Consulting. To find out more about Chandler Macleod Consulting, please visit www.chandlermacleod.com.au

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