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Customer Consulting stresses help for redundancy survivors

Customer Consulting stresses help for redundancy survivors

In the current economic climate, almost every industry seems to be contemplating or making redundancies but those people remaining after these job cuts are just as important as those who leave. Ignore that at your peril is the advice of the specialist customer and change management company Customer Consulting Ltd (CCL).

CCL’s Managing Director, Simon Rustom, commented: “Redundancies are very much in the news. Employers in all sectors of the economy are thinking about whether or not they need to make them and, if so, how to make them with the minimum cost and disruption to their operations.

“While plenty of advice is being directed towards making redundancies or being declared redundant, the people who continue to work for the organisation and deal with its customers are arguably more important – at least to their employers,” he added.

Paul Seymour, as Associate Consultant with CCL, explained: “The people who stay will continue to deal with customers – and so their employers need to ensure that these workers provide a high quality service. Yet these people will be going through the same bereavement-like emotions as their less fortunate colleagues.

“If you’re going to keep up their morale and motivate them, you must recognise this and give them attention,” he said. “Despite all the things you say, they will still feel they are next – so you must give them regular reassurance that they are safe.”

When voluntary redundancy is offered, it is the best people in the organisation who have the confidence to move on and so they tend to leave first, Seymour observed. He added: “So it is always important to have a rigid selection process that assesses the key skills that are needed going forward; rate everyone against this matrix; be open about the process, and don’t be tempted to compromise the process just to achieve the numbers.”

In Seymour’s view, you can minimise the risk of de-motivating staff if you avoid announcing redundancies on a Friday, since it’s difficult to support staff – both those being made redundant and those who are not – over a weekend.

“Moreover,” added Seymour, “Don’t get a junior member of staff to deliver the news: it must come from a senior executive who is visible throughout the process.”

When it comes to controlling the ‘organisational grapevine’, Seymour advocates an ‘ABC’ approach in that you should:

§ Always be available to discuss it.

§ Be quick to quash destructive rumours.

§ Communicate openly rather than ‘pull down the shutters’, making the issue a regular briefing item.

Furthermore, he recommends creating a project team with representation from across all the organisation’s functions. This team will co-ordinate the whole procedure, determining the way in which the news is given to the workforce; by whom; where and when, and the support structures for those who are leaving and for those who will be remaining.

“Make sure there’s plenty of support available after the ‘big day’ as well,” said Seymour. “And expect productivity to drop – and account for it.”

CCL’s Simon Rustom added: “As change management specialists, CCL has a great deal of experience and expertise to offer its clients – across a wide range of industries - who are about to make redundancies and who want to emerge as a stronger, more productive organisation with more highly motivated and engaged employees.

“The key message is that, to achieve the best overall results from organisational change such as a redundancy programme, employers should look for specialist advice and guidance.”

About Customer Consulting Limited
Customer Consulting Ltd (CCL) is a specialist customer and change management company. It helps organisations to optimise their return on investment in customer management - especially contact centres and customer-orientated processes, information & technology.

Its vision is to deliver sustainable business growth through a best practice approach to customer management. CCL provides a combination of insight, intellect, wisdom and pragmatism - combined with a real understanding of people - to achieve commercial results that are beyond the norm. Using a joint project team approach, CCL offers advice and support to help companies develop and implement customer strategies that produce results.

With its 100 consultants averaging 20 years experience, CCL helps business leaders and their teams – including those at Norwich Union, BUPA, South West Trains and National Express Group – to activate their internal resources and ensure measurable success.

Further information from:

Kathy Duxbury

Customer Consulting Ltd,
500 Avebury Boulevard

00 44 (0) 1908 441012/
00 44 (0) 7976 405779


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