Redundancies are unfortunately an inevitable consequence of the major upheavals that many large companies have carried out since the crisis in 2008. When we conducted a study of management communication in 30 of Denmark's largest companies in 2015/16, 22 had carried out one or more major redundancies within the last two years.
Redundancies are complicated. The communication exercise is to ensure the least possible unrest and create a normal situation as soon as possible. However, in the eagerness to treat the affected employees with respect, many companies neglect those who stay. They may therefore be uncertain about what their place in the organization is - and whether they have one place at all in the long run.
Open, honest, and accurate information about plans and rationales is therefore paramount to a good and respectful process. The communication must be empathetic, and managers and employees must have the time and space to help the affected colleagues. At the same time, however, it is important to immediately communicate about the plans for the new everyday life.