When you’re running the human resources department and redundancies are on the cards, it’s not the greatest job in the world. But what happens when one of the redundancies is your role?
With today’s economic climate companies are tightening their belts and aiming to reduce costs to prevent their bottom line from turning red. The cuts often include slimming down the payroll first – and that doesn’t usually mean reductions in pay, but reductions in people.
There are many problems associated with this – not least that, as soon as the rumour mill gets to hear of potential redundancies, the best people start job hunting and may leave much quicker than you’d planned – if, in fact, they were in the roles that the organisation had on the list in the first place.
The people who stay are often those who know they will have a tough time getting another job and have their fingers firmly crossed that their role isn’t on the list of cuts. Where does this leave a diligent human resources manager? The answer is ‘walking a tightrope’; trying to handle the redundancy process well and keep the best performers to enable the organisation to operate profitably.
“The real problem arises when one of the redundancies is the senior HR role,” observes Hilary Jeanes of Coaching for HR, a new service of PurpleLine Consulting. “It’s difficult to continue to work objectively when you know that you’re going to be one of the people who are out of a job.”
Hilary has been consulting and coaching, specialising in the HR function, for many years. She recognises that, while the people who work in HR are often advocates of coaching for key members of the organisational team, they rarely take up coaching up personally.
“If people don’t value themselves, it’s hardly surprising that their role is considered inessential,” continues Hilary. So she’s now launched a specialist service for HR professionals to provide them with the support that they need – in any situation, from dealing with the people challenges of a fast moving organisation to managing their own career.
After all, if you take the people out of an organisation – what do you have left? Looking after the people management team simply makes good sense.