After a redundancy plan, the tough challenge of remobilization…
The accumulation of redundancy plans implemented since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008 has led companies to significantly reinforce their communication on such matters.
Most public announcements are now fully thought through. They are subject to elaborated strategies aiming at associating public authorities in advance and particularly cabinet members for the most important ones, anticipating and preparing every stage of the employee representatives information and consultation process, convincing employees of the necessity of the plan and giving full information on the content and timing of the plan, while reassuring clients and suppliers on the durability of the business and finally dealing with press inquiries and questions.
Too often these communication strategies end up when the information and consultation process with the employee representatives is over while this is when it all begins…
Indeed, within a few weeks, due to people actually leaving, the company will be largely disorganized while workload has not substantially changed and business objectives have not been reviewed down.
Moreover, following the trauma of the announcement and potential strong reactions including strikes or other actions, remaining personnel may feel guilty towards their colleagues who left. This stress is reinforced by increasing psychosocial risks and voluntary resignations that may occur and that management did not expect.
This is why communication towards the people who stay is so important during the employee representative information and consultation process and especially when it is finalized. It also requires a well thought strategy and dedicated resources.
Above all, it is vital for management to reassert the strategy and objectives of the company through a federative corporate vision. For example it is an opportunity to launch a 3 to 5-year strategic plan. However, although reasserting the corporate vision is necessary, it remains insufficient.
Facing demotivation and disorganization risks, it is vital to develop regular communication with every employee, explaining why changing is necessary, involving new managers, explaining the new organization charts and clearly defining every employee’s responsibility.
Initiatives leading to reinforced cohesion, e.g. seminars as well as meetings, exchange and interaction opportunities, are necessary too. They allow potential tensions to be expressed and it restores the necessary links required within the company to allow an efficient internal functioning. They may also be the opportunity to implement new company rituals.
As quickly as possible, management should point out the beneficial effects of change, sharing the effectiveness of the reorganization plan, highlighting successes and new achievements.
This is the only way management can reengage the teams and give itself all chances to achieve the company recovery.