One of the most common employment-related enquiries we get comes from a business owner’s desire to change the way in which they work. Most often the conversation starts with “I have a person I just no longer need – what can I do?”. Sometimes a business has grown quickly and roles or skills need to change in order to support that growth. Another common situation is when a business is purchased and the new owner can see themselves readily assuming the duties of a previous employee. For the most part, the business owner has an idea of what the outcome could or should look like, but they simply don’t know how to go about it.
Change can include simply looking at the way you do things day-to-day and tweaking how things are done, or it might include bringing in additional resourcing to complement your team if you’re in a growth phase or wanting to spend less time in the business doing the day-to-day. Perhaps your business is experiencing seasonal fluctuations and you don’t need all your employees at all times throughout the year. There are many factors that influence how you plan and manage your workforce, and having the ability to flex to meet changing needs is certainly one that we encourage you to embrace.
But what do you do when you want to review and consolidate your resourcing, maybe even through a reduction in staff? Maybe you’ve already begun thinking about how you could do things differently or smarter, or how you might ‘go without’ if you were to reduce your staffing. With this sort of change, there is fine print – you know, that fine print very few of us enjoy reading, but is necessary all the same. And it involves process. You can’t just implement change that has an impact on your employees without formally engaging with them, and this is particularly important where redundancy may be an outcome.
It is often helpful to switch your thinking to that of an employee. If you were employed in your business and the owner was proposing a change to, or disestablishment of your role, how would you want that process handled? You’re likely to want regular and timely communication, some certainty around the ‘what next’, an indication of timeframes, empathy and support during what is likely to be an uncertain and vulnerable time, and an opportunity to contribute ideas or comments to the changes being proposed.
If you’ve started thinking that a change to your workforce might be necessary, let’s talk it through. We can provide the guidance to ensure your rationale for change is sound, and that it can be articulated effectively and appropriately to those impacted. Change can feel uncomfortable, but for those customers who we have helped translate their ideas into reality, there has been no looking back.
Get in touch with our HR team at RightWay, they would love to hear more about how they can help you in your business. Visit https://www.rightway.co.nz/hr-services or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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