Redundancy – Simple Do’s and Don’ts

22 08 2010

Today I’d like to look at some simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to Redundancy, for businesses who are facing times of change and possibly downsizing.

It’s a sad sign of the times that most of us have been personally affected by redundancy of late.  Either as a person having been/being made redundant, or someone who is making redundancies.  From conversations with clients within and without, how well these go is often a measure of how well a business is prepared for these situations.  To this end I was inspired to start compiling a simple list of Do’s and Don’ts

DO

  • Adhere to your redundancy or management of change policy (if you have one). It provides a consistent process to handle what can be a very emotional situation.  If you don’t have one, make sure you’re clear on the process you’ll follow.
  • Check your employees’ contracts – especially if you have employees who have transferred to you under TUPE. Does anyone have any contractual enhanced terms or variances to your standard contracts?
  • Check which, if any, affected employees are covered by any union recognition agreements.
  • Remember that consultation requirements differ depending on the number of employees who may be made redundant. Follow the collective consultation procedures for 20+ redundancies.
  • Ensure that your consultation is meaningful – extend your timescale if necessary. Stress that no decisions have been made yet and encourage the employees to put forward any suggestions or comments.
  • Document everything in writing – it’s your defence to show that you consulted properly, considered alternatives and followed the right procedures.
  • If directors are likely to be made redundant, makes sure you check your articles of association.
  • Be sure to train those involved with handling the redundancy conversations have had suitable training and support on how to have difficult conversations.  Prepare them for the typical scenarios they might face.
  • Ensure your selection criteria are objective and free from discrimination. If attendance is a criteria, ensure that maternity/adoption/paternity related absences are discounted.
  • Consider your selection criteria very carefully – if you don’t have data to backup your views, then try to involve more than one person in the rating of staff. As with interviewing, subjective criteria will not stand up in tribunal – be careful to avoid personal judgements (like “strong communicator” or “poor team player” unless you can objectively justify these.
  • Attempt to find an alternative scheme for apprentices to transfer to if redundancies are inevitable.
  • Write to each individual to invite him/her to every consultation meeting.
  • You may wish to offer the chance to be accompanied by a colleague or union representative at all consultation meetings.
  • Remember to consult with those absent from work due to illness, holiday, maternity/paternity/adoption etc.
  • Document all meetings fully.
  • Consider offering outplacement support to all staff affected.
  • Ensure that you offer work trials to “at risk” employees even though you may think the employee lacks the correct skills.
  • Consult with those not “at risk” – some may put themselves forward for voluntary redundancy or suggest job-shares, transfer to part-time working etc.
  • Offer all suitable alternatives to those at risk – even if at lower pay and status than their current roles. Ensure you provide full details of all suitable vacancies, including salary details.
  • Continue to pay benefits such as car allowances during the notice period.
  • Support those who remain after a redundancy process has been completed.

DON’T

  • Forget that it is the role that is being made redundant, not the person.
  • Pretend that a role is redundant to ease the process of dismissing an unsatisfactory performer.
  • Dismiss on grounds of redundancy if you are going to replace in that role.
  • Go down the redundancy route without first considering other options eg capping overtime, changing working methods, modifying hours, natural wastage etc.
  • Make false promises. Never say that there will be no further redundancies after these cuts – you have no way of knowing this.
  • Rush through the consultation process to try and save money – you may not do so in the long run!
  • Under-estimate the emotional response of someone under threat of redundancy. Expect to have to adjourn meetings and reconvene if employees are too distressed to contribute to the discussions.
  • Assume that you have to have “LIFO” (last in, first out) as your selection criteria. This may be indirectly discriminatory on grounds of age but also tribunals will accept that you want to retain those with key skills and performance.
  • Include apprentices in your selection criteria unless the entire section/business is closing down.
  • Delay commencing redundancy consultation if you are aware that it is going to happen.
  • Ignore any suggestions the employees may make as to ways of avoiding compulsory redundancies.
  • Think you know which jobs the “at risk” employees would not be interested in. Ask them for their thoughts. Make available all job vacancies for consideration, even if you think they may not be interested.
  • Grant garden leave unless it is contained in the employment contract and the employee has officially been served his/her notice.
  • Serve notice of redundancy until the consultation period and process is complete.
  • Refuse staff who are under notice of redundancy, and who have at least two years’ service, reasonable paid time off to attend interviews or secure alternative work.
  • Delay in making any redundancy payments.
  • Discuss compromise agreements too early in the process.
  • Forget that in redundancy situations, even where the person has volunteered for redundancy, you are still dismissing someone.

If you’re facing change or handling the aftermath and need some impartial advice, please get in touch with Creative Leadership today on 01202 853647





Latest News – ChangePaths

31 08 2009

Some changes are afoot here at Creative Leadership.

Sign of the Times

As well as helping businesses with recruitment, these days much of the work we’re doing is helping many of the same businesses with redundancies and outplacement (career and job coaching) too.

We’ve seen the way the job market works shift completely during the Credit Crunch with fewer opportunities available, much less reliance on recruitment agencies and more people looking for work. This more hostile job-seeking landscape is a very difficult place to navigate for those people who find themselves out of work.

It’s unsurprising that those people we’ve worked with, who have an insider knowledge of recruitment and resourcing, have been able to secure the jobs they want within a very short period of time. They tell us how much they’ve benefitted from the support that an outplacement programme has given them and ask could we help their friend with interview tips…a relative with job application advice…their partner with their CV etc etc… Basically we’ve been getting lots of approaches from people who want help getting another job.

Most of the time we’ve been able to say yes, however up until now we’ve only been able to do this rather haphazardly, with an eye on the work we’re doing for our business clients.

Ch..Ch..Ch..ChangePaths…
Haphazard is not something that someone out of work needs. They need real solutions that are available, affordable and individually applicable to them. Also, it’s only a lucky few individuals who work for organisations who offer outplacement or the wholesale advice provided by generic job websites or recruitment agencies.

But how to do it without compromising the work we already do? We thought long and hard about this and came up with loads of ideas. We tried a few new things. Canned a few others. Eventually we decided that the solution was to create a wholly separate entity trading under Creative Leadership, but only used for our work with individuals. We’re calling it ChangePaths.

It’s from ChangePaths that we offer various services including CV writing, help with job applications, Interview coaching etc. It’s also from ChangePaths that we’ll be continuing with our career workshops and Job related blogging.

It’s early days and there’s much to do not least getting our blog up and running (this will be it’s first post at www.changepaths.wordpress.com), and the new website www.changepaths.co.uk

We thought about waiting but then we reckoned that what would the point be to that? If you need our help with finding a job it’s important that you know we can.

So if you want to move forward with your job search give us a call on 01202 853647 or email us at changepaths@creative-leadership.co.uk.

Oh and we’re offering the first 10 individuals who approach us quoting reference WP649L a 10% discount on a CV review. Now there’s an incentive…





The Winning CV Presentation

16 07 2009

Missed our Winning CV Workshop or want to find out what we discussed. Click here for the presentation.

For more information about what we discussed, get in touch today on 01202 853647 or info@creative-leadership.co.uk. Visit our website.

Watch this space for details of the next Career Workshop we’re running soon.





Help finding a new job

30 06 2009

Are you looking for help finding a job?   If so, have you considered coaching and support from experts in recruitment?  

Following many years of working in recruitment for large companies including LV=, Portman Building Society (now Nationwide Building Society in Bournemouth, and PwC and Fidelity Investments in London, our Career Coaches have reviewed tens of thousands of CVs and application forms.   We know what works well and what doesn’t.   Let us help you find the job you want.

What to Expect?

Following an initial consultation, we’ll design a bespoke face to face coaching programme to match your specific requirements.  It is likely to contain some, or all of, the following;

Exploring and Clarifying what to do next

We’ll discover what’s important to you, what you enjoy and don’t enjoy.  We’ll take a look at the key elements of a role that you will find most satisfaction from

Identifying the Options

What options are available to you based on your skills, experience, and most importantly, your aims and goals.  What stops you and what will move you forward?  What resources are available to you and what could help or hinder?  We’ll establish the bridges and the blocks. 

How to find the Job for you

We’ll work with you to identify winning ways to help you find the right job for you.  We’ll explore how to work with recruitment agencies, which online job search tools to use, how to structure a speculative approach and many more essential topics.

 CV Writing

Perhaps the most popular of our outplacement support, we can help you either review an existing CV or write it from scratch.

Personality Profiling

Many employers now use personality-profiling tools (psychometric tests) when recruiting.  By knowing your preferred way of thinking or behavioural preferences, you’ll be better prepared with an action plan for you to capitalise on strengths.

Action Planning

Where do you see yourself in five years time?  What’s the map to your dream job?  Let’s set the ball rolling with some realistic goals and actions to help get you there.

Core Skills Coaching

Core skills training specific to the your needs including;

  • CV writing                                                Business planning
  • Negotiation                                                Interview skills
  • Self-marketing and promotion

 The First Steps

Your outplacement programme will begin with a one-to-one meeting to assess your current situation, define what you need, identify priorities for action and establish specific desired outcomes.

Between your coaching sessions your coach will also be on hand on the telephone or email to answer any urgent matters or short queries.

Between scheduled sessions you are likely to be asked to complete specific actions that support the achievement of your personally prioritized goals.  You will be accountable to yourself and your coach for completing these.

Key Aspects of Coaching

Confidentiality

To be able to move towards your goals you need to be able to talk about yourself in some detail and perhaps refer to situations relating to your beliefs, values, aspirations, current challenges and opportunities.   A climate of trust and confidentiality are critical to ensuring this.  We can assure you that no element of what we discuss will be divulged outside the confines of the coaching relationship.

Commitment

We expect you to be committed to taking responsibility for yourself and for resolving your own issues and achieving your goals. It’s up to you to take responsibility for getting the results that you want.  How committed you are towards this is how successful you will be at achieving your dreams.

To be committed towards your goal it’s helpful to consider your:

  • Motivation
  • Self belief
  • Self discipline
  • Willingness to challenge

Ready, steady, go!

We’re all exceptionally good at engaging in pointless anxiety, procrastination, worry and negativity which helps us step away from taking action. 

We will help you to identify the steps you need to take, big or small, hard or smooth, to be able to step forward and shrug off those negative behaviours and patterns.  By identifying that they exist and using an appreciative approach, you will understand that what you want really is possible, and you’ll set off on this path of achievement.

Monitoring your Progress

Through the course of your Programme we’ll establish and agree actions. To help you to understand how you’re getting on we’ll work with you on a method for detailing your specific goals, actions you’ve agreed towards these and dates towards which you are working.  We’ll review these at each session and it forms a measure of success.

Most of our clients also use a reflective journal or diary in which they jot down how they’re getting on, the progress they’re making toward their goal and any obstacles they encounter on the way.  This self-reflection really does enhance awareness of yourself and is also something that we will discuss at our regular sessions.

We can help you find a new job

Whilst we’re based in Bournemouth, Dorset we’ve helped people across the UK find work and with their next career steps.  If you’d like to know more about how we can help you find a job, either get in touch on 01202 853647 or email us at info@creative-leadership.co.uk.  

You can find out more information about Creative Leadership at  www.creative-leadership.co.uk





Move On – Positive Changes through Redundancy

11 06 2009

In the first quarter of 2009 the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reported unemployment reaching a thirty year high and that there had been a fall in the number of job vacancies.  It’s no surprise therefore that Creative Leadership, Dorset’s only Talent Management business based at the Enterprise Pavilion, have seen a growth in the number of people and businesses seeking help with redundancy and finding a new job. 

“We’ve been staggered at the number of people and organisations coming to us to help them with their redeployment.  This could either be through 1-2-1 help with CVs, interview tips and guidance and advice on where to look for new jobs or bespoke outplacement workshops organised through the businesses themselves.” Reported Michelle Fischer, one of Creative Leaderships directors.  “The difference between this year and last is that there simply aren’t the number of jobs available that there were. So, we’re helping people find new and creative avenues back to work, be it through changing career direction through retraining, or volunteering.”

Creative Leadership have reported more than 50% growth in their outplacement support work already in the second quarter of 2009 and expect this trend to continue where business are focussing on bottom line profitability whilst also seeking to keep the door open for the future. “If an employer communicates change effectively, whilst doing the right thing for those affected by this change, the difficult situation of redundancy is less emotional for all concerned.” Said John Chisholm, another of Creative Leadership’s directors.

In response to the very real demand for help finding a new job, Creative Leadership are running a series of Career Seminars.  The first, a CV Workshop run in association with Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital and Nationwide Building Society is on 16th July 2009 at the Enterprise Pavilion, Poole.  Tickets are £10.00. 

More information can be found at www.creative-leadership.co.uk





Find a Job in Bournemouth or Poole, Dorset

8 06 2009

CV Workshop 16th July 2009

Out of Work?  Facing Redundancy?  This workshop is ideal for you if you want to create a job-winning CV! 

In todays competitive job market, it’s essential that you represent yourself perfectly.   Maybe you don’t have a CV and want a formula to create one.  Alternatively perhaps you have a CV already and want to ensure it’s in the right format and up-to-date.  Either way, this seminar will provide the answers.

During this interactive two hour workshop we will explore how to:  

  • Create compelling CV contents
  • Put forward powerful Personal Profiles
  • Sort and sift through different CV styles 

Can you afford to miss out on expert guidance from Bournemouth’s leading recruitment authority Michelle Fischer and personal branding guru John Chisholm?

Tickets cost £7.50 before Jun 20th or £10 thereafter.

Places are limited so to ensure your attending, reserve your place today:

Email us: info@creative-leadership.co.uk

Call us: 01202 424250

Visit our website www.creative-leadership.co.uk

In association with Nationwide Building Society and Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital.





Ten Tips to guarantee your Job Search success

4 06 2009

We’ve all been given hints and advice over the years for what to do when job seeking; “Your CV should only be 2 pages long,” “You should speak to no more than 3 recruitment agencies” etc etc… In today’s difficult recruitment marketplace, where candidates are ten-a-penny, we, at Creative Leadership, thought we’d get the low-down from some of our expert recruitment colleagues and associates. Here are their top ten Job Searching tips;

1. Work out what you like doing and why you like doing it. Employers are looking for people with a passion for what they do. You need to demonstrate it.

2. Network – get yourself out there, maximise, maintain and manage your network. Your little black book is critical to your success no matter what level of seniority you are looking to attain. Ask everyone in your network for at least two recommendations to speak to who can help you, take up drinking tea and coffee and meet people informally who might be able to help you. Remember to focus your attention not solely on what they can do for you, but what you might do for them too.

3. Tailor your CV to what a prospective client/job requires. In fact, have more than one CV! It should be no more than two pages long and invite the interviewer to find out more about you. Make sure the basics are right – no typos in CVs and letters/e-mails, no obvious ‘generic’ applications etc.

4. Have something that makes you different from the crowd, and that ought to be something that meets an employer ‘need’ or ‘want’. What is your unique selling point? 



5. Use your cover letter to match the company’s TOP requirements. Make sure it’s specific to the job you applying for, highlighting your strengths in relation to the advertised role and why you are relevant for that position. Emphasise what you can do for the company and how you can add value to the business.

6. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Research companies you would like to work for. Employers want to be persuaded that you want that particular job in their organisation, not just A Job! Go for jobs that you know you really want and have the qualities for. Don’t waste your time with others.

7. There are now between 2 and 5 times the number of applicants for each role so the ‘war of attrition’ is even more pronounced. This means you have to be even more prepared to apply for more jobs and therefore endure more rejections. Therefore, persistence will be a key factor. 
Also, don’t be afraid to send your CV directly into HR for large companies thus by-passing recruitment agencies. 


8. Be well presented – Shiny shoes and a suit always get you through

9. Prepare and practice answers to Competency based interview questions. Use the STAR model when answering interview questions. Talk about the Situation or Scenario, outline the Tasks you undertook, what Action was required and what the end-Result was.

10. Be an effective communicator. Don’t interrupt the interviewer! Smile and be confident! 



Now, more than ever, it’s essential that you represent yourself perfectly.

Maybe you don’t have a CV and want a formula to create one. Alternatively perhaps you want help with interview tips and practice. Either way, Creative Leadership can help you with 1-2-1 career coaching or group workshops.  Here’s what some of our clients have to say:

“The experience was positive and challenging. It made me look beyond my comfort zone and forced me to analyse what’s important to me. I got to know myself better and as a result I was more motivated. I have started my new role full of self-confidence, knowing what I’m good at, believing in myself and with the determination to make a difference.”  E Godwin, Career Coachee 2008

Thank you for pointing out that the job interview I was going for wasn’t really what I wanted. I think sometimes it takes someone else to remind you what you have achieved and just because you have been made redundant it doesn’t mean you have lost all your ability and you don’t have to settle for second best.  I am not only going to focus on PT and teaching but think of the wider picture – I still don’t know what that is and I am still winding my husband up throwing business ideas at him while watching football! Talking to you really helped, it gave me the buzz and lift I needed to make my decision – thank you.”  C Wheeler, Career Coachee 2009

Ensure your career success. Get in touch with us at Creative Leadership today on info@creative-leadership.co.uk or 01202 853647. Alternatively visit the website www.creative-leadership.co.uk