6 Tips To Manage Employee Redeployment
Economic downturns, as well as the rapidly changing landscape of the modern business world, have recently forced many companies to undertake major restructuring, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.
Re-structuring always comes hand-in-hand with changes in personnel deployment, which is one of the most challenging areas in business management.
In the past, companies have often chosen to make the affected personnel redundant during restructuring phases, but this is the most disruptive option for all sides involved, as it leads to the loss of what could be highly trained and loyal workers. It is also one of the most expensive options, due to redundancy payments.
Because of this, many businesses are now choosing to re-deploy their personnel from redundant roles to other areas of their company, rather than making them redundant.
While it makes sense for organisations to choose redeployment as a better option, the actual planning and execution of it is often more difficult than anticipated, which may cause major problems.
In order to help you get it right, we’ve compiled our top tips on how to manage employee redeployment successfully:
1. Perform detailed structural mapping and analysis of your company
Before starting any redeployment efforts, first, you need an in-depth understanding of the roles that are no longer useful, as well as the areas where there is a potential for growth in your company. Departments that are ready to grow obviously offer job opportunities that might be successfully filled with existing staff.
Part of this analysis includes an assessment of the feasibility of retraining specific staff roles for other jobs. For example, a sales executive is very unlikely to become a good software engineer in a short time but could do very well in the marketing department, given some good training.
At this stage you should also start to coordinate with managers in key positions and get their input on the skills that are already present and well developed in your existing talent pool, as this will inform the decision of how to redeploy them
2. Carefully plan the redeployment process
In order for redeployment to work smoothly (especially at a large scale), it needs to be planned in advance as precisely as possible.
First of all, you’ll want to put a date on when the redundant department will be terminated. Secondly, you need to assess when new job openings will be available in other departments. Obviously, these dates need to line up with each other. Once you have a good match, you can then set up a schedule for redeployment.
It’s often beneficial to perform redeployment in several phases. In other words, you’ll start by redeploying parts of the department you want to shut down, before proceeding with the rest. Start with those parts that are more peripheral, and therefore less essential, and redeploy the critical parts last.
Once you have set up a schedule for redeployment, you can then start organising the training that will be necessary for the transition.
3. Communicate with your candidates
In order for redeployment to succeed, you’ll need the full support of the staff you want to redeploy. It’s likely that not everyone will be on board with your plan, and at this stage, you need to determine the willingness and flexibility within your talent pool.
If staff members are highly resistant to changing their roles, it’s better not to force them, and to offer them redundancy instead. Focus your efforts on those who want to stay in your company, and prioritise those who are most willing to redeploy.
At this point, you’ll also want to map the skillset, experience, and qualifications present in your talent pool at the level of each individual. Everyone has a different background and personality, and these details can affect the redeployment process.
4. Promote the redeployment opportunity
If some of your staff members are unsure about redeployment, a great way to motivate them is with the opportunity of learning new skills that will be part of their new roles. The incentive of learning valuable skills is a great motivator for many people.
In addition, let your employees know how much you value their loyalty, and that you count on their help in new roles. Recognition by the leadership is another powerful incentive that motivates people to make the effort of transitioning into a new role.
5. Organise and run the training
Good training is essential for successful redeployment.
In-house trainers are often the best choice, and in the case of redeployment, it can be a great idea to have your redeployment candidates be trained by their new team members.
However, if the new department can’t spare anyone for training purposes, you’ll have to bring in trainers from the outside. Make sure there is sufficient time for the training, and those good trainers are available and ready in time.
6. Set a trial period for the redeployed staff
Once you have successfully trained and transitioned your staff into new roles, you still need to make sure that they are actually a good fit for their new roles. To do this, give them a trial period of six months to prove their quality in the new position.
Be prepared to let go of some people even at this stage, since it’s more important to fill your positions with the best individuals, rather than holding on to every employee.
A strategic redeployment is a powerful tool that can be used to benefit from a highly trained, loyal, and motivated workforce in different roles. Properly executed, it can give any company a competitive edge in a highly dynamic and changing economic environment, which necessitates regular re-structuring.