The best organisation are like enthusiastic gardeners 


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 you go”
 
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 standard email. 
 
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 


 

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