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Retrenchment is a sensitive issue - use these four tips to make it easier on your employees

by , 28 August 2014
Retrenchment is a sensitive issue, especially for your employees.

To find out they're losing their jobs when they haven't done anything wrong can destroy them. Added to their anxiety is the fact that they'll be out of work in an economy that's already struggling to create jobs.

That's why you have to try to make retrenchment easier on them and be compassionate.

How do you do this?

Use these four tips...

Four tips to make retrenchment easier on your employees

Tip #1: Have all the relevant information at hand

Try to answer your employees' questions and be honest – don't guess and don't be evasive.

Remember that, by law, you must supply your reasons for retrenchment. Information is also the key to constructive consultations regarding retrenchments.

Tip #2: Personally inform each employee who will be affected by the possibility of retrenchment

It's unacceptable to announce the possibility of retrenchment at a general meeting or as an item on a meeting agenda. Find a quiet place and address your employees.

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Tip #3: Don't prolong the process

Retrenchment will have a major psychological and lifestyle impact on your employees. So don't let the process go on for too long or let premature rumours heighten anxiety. This could have a detrimental impact on productivity and staff morale.

Tip #4: Be generous with time off

Allow employees who the retrenchment will affect to attend interviews, financial counselling and other personal affairs during working hours.

You can't expect them to continue with 'business as usual'. This is, after all, a life changing moment for them.

There you have it. While retrenchment is a sensitive issue that evokes all sorts of emotions, using these tips will help make the process easier on your employees. For additional tips, check out the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

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