You Just Got Made Redundant – WTF!

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Your boss has come up to you and told you they are in the “consulting Stage” about your role, as you have been earmarked for redundancy and they want to “consult” with you about what happens next.

You need to know this, it is very unlikely anything will change and you will soon be told you have been made redundant. And unless you have some sort of amazing magic rabbit in your pocket, your will be asked to leave.

First thing in your head is probably something like “WTF”, “Holy shit” or some other incredulous superlative. Then you may go into a mind-numbing downward spiral. Meanwhile, your boss is still talking to you. They saying something like, it is the current economic situation or a strategic reshuffle was necessary, etc, etc. and now you are just trying to hold it together.

The news is still raw and your mind goes into overdrive attempting to figure out what to do, you begin packing up your stuff, others (if they are aware) are concerned about you and asking how they can help, all the while they are thinking “OMG, am I next” – some may even be thinking “OMG, I just dodged a bullet”.

Is this happening to you? With COVID-19 its happening a LOT and it’s pretty typical, I believe I have a little experience here after having been through three of my own redundancies, the last time = 3 DAYS ago.  At some stage you will be thinking “why me” and then you will have many reasons why it should not have been you; you could even justify why it should have been someone else. Then, you go to the next stage, how do I tell my family.

Why do most people feel like this? A number of things get triggered internally, there is the self-preservation, ego, self-esteem, image, etc. This is the emotional aspect and none of these are comfortable feelings. They may even lead to feelings of panic – or worse.

After having been through a few, I want to tell you what I have learnt about redundancy and its affects and hopefully how to pull through. I do this as I am tired of reading ‘advice’ from others who are on a different planet or have never known the experience and the feelings themselves.

What the hell DO you do?

There are plenty of site on the internet giving advice, some being very applicable while some give the impression all you need to do is pick yourself and just grab that next opportunity. They are right but it will not be as easy as waking up to a new, great world.

Everyone is different on how they react, their circumstances and the working environment they are within.

Hopefully I have listed below something that can help you. Remember I am not a psychologist or an “advisor” who has never been made redundant and still wants to give you’re their advice. These are just suggestions and ideas from someone who has felt the pain…

The Summary:

  • Don’t make it personal
  • Don’t get stuck on it, get into action
  • Contacts – family, friends and others
  • Plan and use your finances wisely
  • Getting a job, is now your job
  • Information is power
  • Leave your baggage at home
  • What I did/am doing

Over next eight days I will add to this post the detail for each.

Next instalment will be Part-2 Don’t get Stuck on it – Get Into ACTION…

The Detail:

1-               Don’t make it personal

Yes, it may hurt and there is a big chance you will either blame it on yourself or try to figure out ‘why me’, or even start thinking about the “fairness”.   Remember, companies will go through the pros and cons of making roles redundant, it is in their own interest to make the right decision and it is not about any individual (usually). In all likelihood, your skills could have been underutilised, unnecessary, unappreciated or just unrealised (they did not know your potential) but this is not about “fairness” or whether this person deserves it as opposed to another. This is rarely in the decision-making process, it is all about the ROLE.

We can all agree, you have just received some tough news, so avoid making it even harder by making it personal as this ties up all your resources and drains you of your energy (which is not a good thing – for you). However hard it may, especially the first time it happens, remember it was the ROLE that was made redundant – you just happened to have that role, at that time, in that company.

Often people need to grieve over this, really. It can be traumatic, especially if it’s your first redundancy. If it helps you get through, let it be personal – but no more than a few days, allow yourself to go through the range of emotions, feel sad, feel angry, vent to someone who will listen (but will NOT collude with you). Don’t hold it in and don’t make it a blame game – that will bring in more “players” and even harder to work on.

Note: if it feels insurmountable and you are absolutely devastated, make sure you talk to others; family, friends, Doctor or therapist. This is serious stuff, do not hold it in and pretend you are ok, or let it overwhelm you. This is not just about getting a job; this is also about your health. Your mental health is just the same as your physical health, if you have a broken tooth, you go to the dentist you don’t ‘wait it out’ or do it yourself.

There will be some who look forward to redundancy – they didn’t like the job or they wanted something different plus they get a payout, but they too need to get the emotion out. Everyone will get affected somehow, until you have had a couple goes at redundancy and you learn how to handle it.

Keep heart, maintain your confidence, your self-esteem and your self-respect. Ok, so you’ve re-composed yourself and you acknowledge it is not personal. Now you need to move on and starting things happening, so read part-2 “Don’t Get Stuck on it, Move into Action”

2–               Don’t Get Stuck on it – coming tomorrow…

Warehouse Protocols

Your company is running fine then one day someone gets hurt or makes a complaint and it all goes downhill,  fast.  Allegations  are fired at you stating that you did not provide adequate training, that there were no systems in place, etc, etc.   But you were doing what you thought was right, you did not do anything wrong – in today’s world that will not cut it. What you think (or don’t think) can get you in trouble.

This particular flash is about warehousing although it can apply to every area of your business. You need to draft some protocols, some instructions, an explanation of who does what and when they should do it.

I call them guidelines, but they can be called anything for example work instructions or procedures,  as long as you make sure they are used and understood by everyone.  In this scenario I am referring to the warehouse, but it can apply to any part of your business.

So you are storing and distributing products from your own warehouse – have you documented what happens and who does it and more importantly who does what when it goes wrong?  Your document should include sections such as Responsibilities, Hazard Identification, Risk assessment, Risk Control, etc. These, along with a number of other item are important in running a safe and efficient business.  Yes it is not just about safety, it also includes efficiency and effectiveness.  In simplistic terms efficiency = dollars and effectiveness = goals.

When you have a document that covers such things then you can start moving forward, defining where you are and what needs to change, plus it is a way of ensuring that everyone knows what should happen, when it should happen and who to turn to when it doesn’t. Then build in review cycles, these should include those ‘on the line’ as they will know far more than you what is and is not happening. Use this knowledge, it is free and possibly (probably?) have positive repercussions for your company.

And as always, if you need help, I am only a call (or email) away.