Posted on 11th September 2019 by Jo Lothian
According to the Back to Work Australia report by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Australia has one of the world’s highest redundancy rates, with an average annual figure of 2.3% of workers who have been in post for at least a year facing severance.
The report also found that nearly 70% of those made redundant found work in another organisation within a year. While this is clearly good news for workers, it means that they are taking their knowledge and experience away from their old employers, never to be retrieved.
It’s a well-known fact that redundancy can often be the costliest option when you consider severance payments and the losses you will occur from the hiring process and subsequent training of new employees.
What if there were ways to avoid redundancy in the first place so that your organisation can retain skilled and valuable workers without the risk of losing them to competitors?
Looking at alternatives to redundancy will give many benefits to your company in the long-term, and redeploying talent – instead of letting it go – is the key.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can avoid the big R, with the win of reinvesting in your company’s long-term future and success.
Reaching out and asking staff if they are interested in working flexibly can give you a surprisingly positive result.
The world of work is changing, and so too are employees’ expectations. The days of working 9 to 5 are long gone, and the new generation of employees expect their career to fit around their many other commitments, be they family, hobbies or even a side hustle.
Reducing hours works for many who may have commitments to young children or elderly relatives.
This way, you save costs while retaining knowledge and ability.
The government’s Flexible working is good for business report outlined the many benefits for companies offering this arrangement, whether as a means to avoid redundancy or simply as part of their HR approach. These include better productivity, higher attraction and retention rates, enhanced employee wellbeing, more women in leadership roles, and helping to future proof your business.
It also quoted the stat that 70% of Australian businesses in the private sector offer flexible working, which just goes to show how popular and productive this regime is.
It’s time for a timeout
Offering employees sabbaticals is a nifty way to side-step redundancy, saving you money and opening up a whole new world to your workers. Sabbaticals offer both employer and employee a raft of benefits too.
A sabbatical gives an employee a fresh perspective on their role, and they will often return with new ideas and ways of working.
Personal goals achieved on sabbatical can often translate directly into benefits for your company. If your employee has taken time off to travel and learn a new language, they can put their new-found skills to good use when they return.
They are also great for employees left behind. They can step up if any tasks are left uncovered, giving them a welcome career boost.
Offering sabbaticals will put you in good company. Take a look at Fortune’s list of 100 best companies to work for, and you’ll find a high proportion allow their employees sabbaticals, knowing that they will return reinvigorated.
All in all, sabbaticals are a great way to save money and welcome employees back re-energised and brimming with new ideas.
Training is part and parcel of any employee’s journey. It’s also a continual cycle, and there is no reason why you can’t train a capable candidate in another direction to future proof your company, and be able to evolve the positions of your loyal staff to reflect changes in the market.
Not only is it a cost-efficient way of warding off redundancy, it instils a learning culture in your organisation, proving that your company is committed to employees and their development. This, in turn, boosts your organisation’s profile and makes you attractive to prospective employees and clients alike.
It’s also a good opportunity to consider what skills your employees need to keep your business competitive in the future. There’s help out there on the government’s Business site, where you can identify your business’s skill needs, explore training options and search for government-funded programs.
Redundancy often needs to be dealt with in a short timeframe. To avoid the stress of making decisions under pressure, you need to future-proof your organisation. It’ll give you more options if you are faced with redundancy issues again.
So, look at your training programme. Will it allow your employees to keep pace with technological changes? Are you offering the right mix of training to enable this? Growing your employees in line with your company means less chance of redundancy.
Are there other organisational changes you could make – home working, for instance, to keep overheads down?
When redundancy is inevitable, if you have planned ahead, you will be in a position to help affected employees. Help them define their transferrable skills, ensure their training is up-to-date and give them a helping hand in looking for new positions by engaging with an outplacement service to assist with résumé writing and interview preparation.
With a little planning and some ‘out of the box thinking’ redundancy can be a manageable – or even avoidable – process, retaining talent and reinvesting in the bright and positive future of your business.
If you’d like to discuss your business’ future staffing needs or would like to partner with a recruiter to assist in the transition through redundancy, please do reach out to our skilled Consultants for nation-wide support at 02 8377 5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.