Written by Dan O’Driscoll and Rob Legge
This is a blog we hoped we wouldn’t have to write, but unfortunately the reality of restructures and redundancies across the third sector warrants focused advice and support for charities. We want to give some practical help and support to individuals who are affected by a change process.
The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating and it’s been especially felt by charities with a retail operation. Fundraising income has been severely affected which has bought expenditure into sharp focus. Support has been provided by Government, with £750 million in funding for frontline charities, but that hasn’t gone far enough to prevent really difficult restructuring and redundancy decisions.
A change process can be hard.
In normal times, change processes can be difficult, but the added pressure of not being able to interact with colleague’s face to face, being on furlough, or having to write a counter proposal remotely can make that process feel even harder. Understanding that you’ll go through a change cycle can be really helpful in managing your emotions and getting focused on what you can do and taking control of the situation.
What can I do that’s practical?
- Understand your financial situation.
Use expertise that is available. Money Saving Expert has some excellent resources to support you in good financial planning. They have created new materials and advice for people who are going through a change process during Covid-19. It is no good ignoring the possibility that you might lose your job. If you already have a plan review it and strengthen it.
2. Revise your CV.
Update your CV and get someone from outside your organisation to cast a critical eye over it. Often, we use our current organisation’s technical terms that makes little sense to another charity and certainly not to other sectors. Make sure yours is jargon free and that your skills and experience show how they can be transferred to other roles. There are also new websites to help support you in finding a new job, such as Job Help.
3. Prepare for internal interviews.
Engage in your organisation’s redundancy process. You should be given an opportunity to apply for newly created jobs. Internal interviews are challenging, and you need to treat it as the formal process just as you would if you were being recruited by a new organisation. Assume the interviewing panel have no knowledge of your skills and experience apart from the application form or resume you provide. We suggest an effective way to respond to interview questions is the STAR process This allows you to give responses without waffling.
S – what is the situation?
T – is the task that you completed.
A – what action did you take?
R – demonstrates the results you achieved.
4. Advice and help for the staff affected.
Charites can also supply quality support to the staff concerned so that they can better understand the impact of the change upon them and develop coping strategies. They can also prepare them for any internal applications and deliver interview and career coaching.
Use specialists to support those threatened with redundancy.
Sometimes this service can be delivered more effectively by a team independent of the charity’s management or HR function. Bringing in specialist experts who can create rapport with the staff as well as deliver timely support is critical. Career coaching can be an affective way to support staff affected by redundancy through this process.