How to manage ‘Redundancy’ without choking the ‘Human’ factor
Thursday, February 9, 2017 2:50:11 PM

Remember “Outplacement Counselling” expert Ryan Bingham (Played by George Clooney) in Jason Reitman’s recession satire “Up in the Air?” Transition counselor Bingham was flying across the country, firing people and then, getting them ready to look for new employments.


For any human resource professional, the movie is a stark reminder of the hardest part of people management—redundancy. More specifically, the impact and importance of how to treat people appropriately. The challenging part of any redundancy process is to retain the human factor in human resources. Yes. This process involves complicated emotions. Otherwise, it isn’t as complicated as it sounds.

If we go by definition, redundancy is a time when an employee is sacked as he/she no longer requires for any particular job. Nevertheless, to bring authenticity to the process, it is necessary for an organization to demonstrate clearly that the employee’s job is no more required.

At times, several reasons are cited like...funding cut, contract loss, a lower volume of orders for the product and so on. At times; however, it’s not that transparent. Examples are aplenty where managers opt for complex restructures instead of addressing the performance issues. It; therefore, leaves a bad experience for both the manager and employees.

How to stay focused while addressing the redundancy issue? According to Michel Horn, an independent human resource practitioner, “Try to focus on some important aspects like—the thing (be as specific as possible) you’re trying to stop continuing and the thing that will change once the process is implemented. Once you clearly know these two aspects of redundancy, the time is ripe for you to go ahead with your redundancy plan. Although it may make a dent in your popularity level, it’ll be less painful for people and will offset the impact on your organization.”

Plan: Decide when you’ll implement the changes. Write down all your decisions in a spreadsheet. And most importantly, do not forget checking off various legal requirements at every stage.

Find out the pool for the selection criteria: At times, the reasons behind redundancy are very clear; however, at times, they’re not. You must come up with your own selection criteria for redundancy. Put your best foot forward to make the process bias-free as much as possible.

Pay properly to your redundant employees: Do not dilly-dally to disburse the redundant payment. Tell them clearly the amount they’ll receive and stick to your word.

Hardly there’s anyone who enjoys dealing with redundancy, except Ryan Bingham…no pun intended! The process is indeed stressful and tiring. However, with the tips discussed in the article, you can retain the human factor in Human Resources even during redundancy.