ABERDEEN HR firm, Empire, has set up a specialist team tasked with helping companies faced with the need to make organisational changes, including job cuts.
With reports suggesting 35,000 jobs could be lost in the UK oil and gas industry over the next five years, Empire has brought together a group of experts ready to help employers implement a successful restructuring plan.
The new team, made up of HR consultants, lawyers and employment law specialists, will help employers to ensure the redundancy process is carried out legally, efficiently and as painlessly as possible.
Steve Cook, CEO of Empire, said: “Cost-cutting is an essential part of business – and the task is especially difficult for employers who are faced with the job of reducing workers’ hours or making them redundant.
“As companies large and small have been making job cuts over the last six months, we have seen an increase in the number of calls we receive asking for support at this tough time in business. We have subsequently set up a specialist team to help guide employers through this difficult process – with a view to leaving the business in a more positive state afterwards.
“In order to stay competitive and drive a business forward, employers must constantly assess their expenditure and more often than not, salaries make up the biggest slice of the budget.
“Managers know that making positions redundant is very stressful for the employer and the employee, but also for the ‘survivors’,” says Cook, adding that managers fearful of the effect cuts will have on employee morale, can put off the decision until it becomes critical.
“Business owners owe it to the employees left behind after a reorganisation to make decisions quickly and clearly. Managers fear that as soon as jobs are cut, negative feelings will abound in a business, leading to reduced productivity and the potential of valued staff jumping ship.”
Empire’s specialist team will work with employers to establish other cost-cutting options such as reducing hours, cutting benefits and cutting non-essential work to help a business improve its profitability. However, if the finances dictate that staff should go, the group of lawyers and experienced HR experts will help establish which jobs need to be cut and how to communicate plans with staff clearly and honestly.
Cook adds: “Taking professional advice, or employing an interim HR expert, will smooth the process and ensure that legal obligations are met. Also, helping staff find alternative employment or training opportunities can help to ‘soften the blow’ for staff leaving an organisation.
“If more than 20 positions are being made redundant, a formal consultation process is required which will take a minimum of 30 days, 45 days if more than 100 employees are affected – and almost six weeks of uncertainty can have a very negative effect on a business.”
Looking to the future
Continues Cook: “The most important factor in cost-cutting exercises is to ensure the future of the business. A rationalisation can in fact be positive if a company deals with it professionally.
“Encouraging debate on progressing a business to the next level, can be constructive for both employers and employees. Making plans and discussing lessons learned will help cost-cutting survivors feel appreciated and positive about the future.
“Reorganisation is a fact of corporate life – but ensuring it is carried out in a professional and clear manner can ensure the business moves forward in a positive, profitable manner.”
Issued by Frasermedia Ltd on behalf of Empire.
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