If HR are were to adopt a gardening metaphor it would be weeds
are just flowers in the wrong place. This is not what a
manager who has been asked to consider someone on redeployment wants
to hear. Nor is it the response a manager with an incompetent or
“difficult” team member is hoping for. The implication in both cases
is that the manager just needs to identify and utilise the
individuals strengths. The manager just wants rid of the employee.
In some organisations HR is about getting rid of people. Not just
individuals but whole groups of people. There is early retirement ,
voluntary redundancy and compulsory redundancy plus dismissal for
gross misconduct, absenteeism and occasionally incompetence. Post
pandemic there is a lot of cutting back.
Should HR go beyond what’s required, be an enthusiastic
gardener, should they restrict themselves to the basics, a reluctant
gardener, or should they outsource the whole process, a non gardener
? Who gets the task of telling a colleague , “sorry we have to let
The film Up In The Air stars George Clooney as a, “down sizer”
some one companies employ to inform employees they are being made
redundant. It was billed as a comedy, despite an early scene in
which an employee commits suicide on hearing the bad news.
Line managers find the task too distressing and HR have
outsourced the task to professionals. At lest they get a one on one
interview with the details of their redundancy package not just a
The chances of finding a similar post elsewhere are remote.
Retraining is an option for the under 40’s . The over 50’s will
probably never work again. How much help should an organisation give
an individual to find another job or cope with early retirement?
Should HR help the individual identify transferable skills, assist
in drafting a professional CV that makes the most of their
experience and identify suitable retraining? Yes, yes and yes.
Blair McPherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk