At Zircon, we strive to help organisations during times when they need to put their best foot forward. With the use of assessment tools and coaching, we develop strategies that enable businesses to work more effectively, run more smoothly and enable employees to be more efficient.
Having worked through the last three years with clients, the word “redundancy” is not unfamiliar. Organisations are still undergoing a massive amount of change such as; reducing headcount, transferring people to different departments or re-shuffling team structures. Employers need to be aware of the skills and capabilities its employees possess to place them in an environment where they will be most effective. This is where the use of assessment tools can come into play.
What to consider?
Many aspects need to be considered by employers when assessing for redeployment and redundancy. These include: legalities, how to share the unfortunate news of redeployment, the aftermath of redundancies and how to decide who stays and who goes.
Employers are legally responsible to guarantee that their assessment processes and choices are fair. This is vitally important and must be obeyed as it avoids possible claims of discrimination or unfair dismissals. The redundancy procedure must be communicated to trade unions ensuring that fair and just treatment has been provided, decreasing the chance of appeals against the employer’s decisions.
What is being achieved?
Employers must be aware of what they are trying to achieve when making redundancies. A thorough end structure of the organisation must be envisaged and fair practical assessment processes must be selected. It is of utmost importance that the criteria to which employees will be assessed is decided prior to the selection process. This allows for the right assessment tools to be selected. Having the right assessment tools can aid selection of employees tremendously as they can identify key strengths, co-worker relationships and the type of personality an employee possesses.
Communication with employees during redeployment and redundancy is essential. Communication must be clear, consistent and well-timed and it should be used to support employees. An employers’ campaign needs to be planned and executed carefully. Announcements must be made promptly and simultaneously through the business hierarchy (starting with the senior managers to middle level managers to team leaders…). Communicating in this fashion will reduce the chance of information leaking through the office grapevine.
Recognising key competencies
Assessment tools are extremely helpful when trying to discover which employees have the key requirements needed for the new or existing roles. Knowledge of the new or existing job requirements is vital to discover what key strengths or behaviours are necessary for effective performance within the role. To obtain a highly informative profile of the jobs, data collection methods must be implemented on a large scale.
What assessment tools to use?
Employers need to design a fair assessment process; this will inevitably incorporate application forms, interviews and psychometric questionnaires. The tools used must be fair, suitable and appropriate for what is trying to be achieved. For example, psychometrics can be used to obtain an objective measure of employees’ effectiveness within the company which can in turn aid the decision making process.
After redundancies have been made, the effectiveness of the organisation depends upon the remaining employee morale and engagement with company procedures. Employees may feel demoralised and anxious and think they may be next to go. To combat this, enormous amounts of attention must be paid to those still within the company and communication within business hierarchies must be continuous.
Assessment data can be used for personal development and coaching to improve performance and effectiveness. Leavers also require support so that the impact of their redundancies is reduced. Leavers’ assessment data can be used to deliver feedback and to discover which areas are strengths, to aid future development.
At Zircon Management Consulting we understand that times such as these can be a stressful burden on employers and organisations as a whole. We have significant experience of supporting our clients through restructure and redundancy programmes. For further information please contact Dr Amanda Potter on 01737 555 862.
Written by Asha Pattni. Trainee Occupational Psychologist and Melissa Tyson Occupational Psychologist.
Bradley, H. (2011). Using assessment tools in redeployment or redundancy settings. Assessment and development Matters, 3(1), 2-4.