A company that cares about the morale of its colleagues will ensure that not only are those facing and experiencing redundancy are the beneficiaries of clear, well-thought out and sensitive communication, but that those left behind can remain engaged and focus on the task in hand. A communicator's role in these times needs to be a master in tact and diplomacy. How do you raise the morale of those staying without upsetting those facing the unemployment line? And, just as importantly, with those working notice periods, how do you keep them engaged in the goals of the very business which is putting them out of work?
Honesty is, as ever, the best policy. Understanding why your role is redundant - and I stress here your 'role' and not 'you' helps to keep loyalty and engagement. In most cases, it is nothing personal. Demonstrating your understanding of what that person is going through, showing empathy and praising a job well done all help to keep the motivation going.
Don't forget to keep talking to those that will remain. It is only natural that most will feel insecure, wondering 'who's next?'. Celebrate success and discuss the reasons behind failure. Now, more than ever, is the time for a bit of transparency. Share your situation with your colleagues, instill that feeling of 'we're all in this together'; 'together we are stronger'. Keep the focus on engagement and ensure that everyone can have a voice.