Redeployment Strategy: Where next after COVID-19?

redeployment - Open doors

The impact of coronavirus on careers

Following almost a year in lockdown, it now appears that there is genuine reason for hope as the vaccine rollout gathers pace and restrictions are eased. What our ‘new normal’ will be remains to be seen; however, in many cases our careers will be changed forever.

As the furlough scheme is unwound it is widely expected that there will be a rapid increase in job-losses that could last several months. Despite the intention of the scheme to protect jobs, many employees will find that the market in which their organisation operates has changed forever. We’ve all gotten used to the convenience of ‘online’ banking; internet fashion brands have turned the traditional model of ‘high-street’ shopping on its head and fewer of us are likely to return to a 5-day a week office based role, impacting transport, property and casual dining even more.  The lockdown has accelerated these trends and for many furlough will only have been temporary respite. Employers needing to address these changes will look to implement redundancies quickly in order that the organisation can adapt to these newer market conditions. In many cases this activity will be inevitable, however for some it is avoidable.

Redeployment of employees

Redeploying skilled staff can offer an alternative to a cycle of hiring and firing that is often witnessed as a reaction to change. It may seem obvious to look to retain workers who already have a good understanding of how the organisation works, its customer base, suppliers and, internally, it’s corporate structure and culture, however too few companies take the redeployment option as seriously as they might.

And often, it’s not for want of trying. Redundancy consultation clearly includes an opportunity to discuss alternative positions elsewhere in the organisation and explore the option of redeployment. As outplacement and career consultants, what we often see is individuals who have too little understanding of the transferable skills and capabilities they possess and as such are unable to articulate how their existing skills may match the requirements needed for redeployment to alternative positions. Line management, are too often blinkered when it comes to redeployment and prefer potential recruits to have ‘direct’ experience of roles they may be hiring for or focussing solely on their department or division as opposed to looking more broadly across the organisation for someone with the right transferable skills. Taken together, this often results in individuals leaving the organisation, either voluntarily or involuntarily simply because no one has taken time to understand how the dots may be joined and accordingly how individuals may be redeployed.

Benefits of redeployment

For many, redeployment is increasingly a differentiating factor amongst organisations as they move forward. Helping people to understand their skills leads to more effective career-planning and an increased ability to move up, across or through the business dependent upon both employer and employee needs.

Good businesses will already have redeployment strategies in place; talent pools and high-potential employees will have been identified, line management will be well-versed in seeking new recruits internally and in understanding how individual capability might be reshaped against changing need and in most cases, some degree of career discussion is likely to have taken place. Translating this great intent, consistently and efficiently into practice would see many more careers flourish, fewer employees facing redundancy, reduced costs of recruitment and training and a more settled corporate culture.

What’s not to love?

To find out how INTOO UK and Ireland can support you with your redeployment strategy contact us here.

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