Navigating staff redundancy: A guide for businesses


Staff redundancy is a challenging terrain for both employers and employees. The emotional toll it takes is undeniable, and businesses must approach it with empathy and strategic care. In this first part of our series, we delve into the human side of redundancy and explore why providing comprehensive support is important.

Understanding the human side of redundancy:

The emotional impact:

Redundancy is more than just a professional transition; it’s a deeply personal experience for those affected. Employees often face a mix of emotions, from shock and disbelief to anxiety about the future. Take the example of Sarah, a dedicated team member who suddenly finds herself without a job after years of service. The sudden change leaves her feeling disoriented and uncertain.

Importance of empathy and communication:

Effective communication is the cornerstone of managing redundancy. When employees like Sarah feel heard and understood, it eases the emotional burden. Regular and transparent communication helps in building trust during this challenging time. A case in point is Mark’s story, where his employer conducted open forums to address concerns and provide clarity on the company’s decision-making process. This approach helped to alleviate anxiety among the staff.

Introduction to outplacement services:

Outplacement services play a pivotal role in supporting staff through redundancy. These services go beyond the traditional severance package by offering practical assistance to employees in their career transition. For instance, Sarah, with the help of outplacement services, received personalised career counselling that not only identified her transferable skills but also explored new career paths. This hands-on support helped her regain confidence and navigate the job market more effectively.

Handling redundancy: A weight on leadership shoulders

In the midst of staff redundancy, it’s essential to acknowledge the emotional toll it takes on the individuals tasked with delivering the news. Managers find themselves in a delicate position, bearing the responsibility of communicating difficult decisions while grappling with the impact on their team members. The emotional stress can be profound, as exemplified by Simon, a manager who had to navigate the challenging process of staff reduction. Simon not only faced the burden of delivering unwelcome news but also contended with feelings of empathy for his team members and the strain of maintaining team morale. The emotional well-being of those steering through redundancy is a critical aspect often overlooked. Later in the series, we’ll delve into strategies for supporting leaders through this emotionally charged process, ensuring that they are equipped to guide their teams with empathy and resilience.


Navigating staff redundancy requires a compassionate and strategic approach. By understanding the emotional impact, fostering empathy and introducing effective communication channels, businesses can lay the groundwork for a smoother transition. Outplacement services are a valuable asset in providing practical support and guidance to employees during this challenging time. In the next part of our series, we will explore the core elements of outplacement services, shedding light on the tools and resources available to businesses and their departing staff.

Links to help jobseekers in New Zealand

Seek New Zealand – A prominent job search platform providing job listings, advice and resources.

Trade Me – Trading and job search platform with job listings. – A comprehensive online resource provided by the New Zealand government to support individuals in their career planning and development.

Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) – Provides information on redundancy support, financial assistance and services available for both employers and employees.

LinkedIn – Create a profile and use the platform to network and find job alerts.