An intensely challenging year that was characterised by uncertainty and chaos, waving goodbye to 2020 felt like a huge relief for many people. Yet as we all know, the economic fallout is far from over. According to a recent People Management article, there were more than 800,000 UK job losses since the start of the pandemic, as companies of all shapes and sizes struggled to stay afloat. The good news is that with an extension of the job retention scheme, not to mention the promise of a Covid vaccination schedule, there is hope on the horizon for 2021. However, last summer ACAS reported that redundancy-related calls had "shot up by 160%" from 2019. Further restructuring – and redundancies – will be unavoidable for many organisations as the year unfolds, creating a landscape of further insecurity. Amidst such heightened anxiety about the job market and our general wellbeing, the way organisations choose to approach and implement their restructuring plans matters more now than ever before. Here are some tips on how to carry out the process with both confidence, and much-needed compassion.
It's already well established that having the appropriate work culture and strategy for maintaining good working relationships are critically important for the effective delivery of business objectives. As far as employee relations are concerned, the approach adopted must ensure that conflicts or disputes are kept to a minimum or even better, resolved, as soon as possible and with the least impact on the business. The way conflict is dealt with currently by most organisations is one whose primary focus is to judge a situation and deliver an outcome. It does not always consider the issues to be solved depending on the type of issue (whether it is just a difference of opinion or it has reached an entrenched stage) as explained in this paper from ACAS. Many HR professionals also invite employees to raise grievances formally in order to deal with them, the informal stage being left for the manager to handle.
Here comes the festive season yet again with the routine end of year parties and office celebrations. Under those wonderful celebrations lie the murky waters of potential litigations and reputational damage that may result from reckless incidents. Whether the Christmas party takes place outside of working hours and/or off company premises, the normal laws that protect employees and their rights still apply under the Safety at work Act. If an employee is injured or abused in any way, the company may well be legally liable. Furthermore, employee relations issues can arise when an office party is planned insensitively; when this follows a period of cost-cutting and redundancies or when no consideration was given to staff from a different faith. A few tips to consider: