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Warning! Signs you may be made redundant (part two)

    Exit signs you may be made redundant

    In tough economic times, many of us worry about how safe our job is. How do you know if there’s a chance you might lose your job? There are many signs you may be made redundant. This week we look at more clues to look out for if you’re worried about redundancies in your workplace, and what to do if you think the writing is on the wall.

    A company re-organisation

    After a merger, acquisition or restructuring, your company may end up with employees who are doing the same role as you. It doesn’t need two of you, so be alert to any rumours regarding the future of the organisation.

    New senior appointments

    If a new CEO, executive team or senior manager is introduced to your company, this could be a sign that more widespread organisational change is on its way.

    Another team is facing redundancies

    If your company is making redundancies in a division similar to yours, it could signal that your team will be next.

    You’ve heard rumours

    Where there’s smoke there’s often fire. Gossip and suspicion about redundancies can indicate possible job losses. Another sign is reading about redundancies in a trade or news website or publication. In an ideal world employers would communicate about possible change, but when plans aren’t definite this can create an atmosphere of uncertainty and worry.

    There’s a strange atmosphere

    When redundancies are about to happen, the atmosphere in a workplace can change. Signs can include whispered conversations, a lack of eye contact and a general ‘weird’ feeling. The HR team in particular can seem stressed, as can managers in the know about the changes – although sometimes managers can be kept out of the loop too, so their strange behaviour may be just them picking up on the atmosphere too.

    Reassurance about jobs

    Have you been reassured that your job is safe, despite the poor economic climate? When management tells you that, while everyone else is finding it tough, your business is resilient and will get through the bad times, it may be time to look for a new role.

    Strangers in the building

    If you don’t recognise visitors to your company, especially those meeting with HR and senior managers, they may be HR and outplacement specialists (like Glide Outplacement) advising on how to manage the redundancy process. Alternatively, executives from head office or even the CEO may drop by your office – people you may have rarely, if ever seen before.

    The writing is on the wall

    Are there cardboard boxes in the store room? Have you been asked to hand over contacts, data and other information? Are there security guards hanging around the office, looking serious?

    A major clue is the mysterious ‘everyone must attend’ meeting in the boardroom, which is filled with senior management looking sombre and downbeat. Or you are asked to attend to a one-on-one unscheduled meeting with your line manager and walk in to find HR there too.

    What to do if you spot the signs you may be made redundant

    If you feel you might be next, it is time for you to take immediate action. Unfortunately there is not much you can do to save your job once your role has been earmarked for redundancy. Often it is outside your control.

    However if only part of your team is being made redundant and no decisions made about who will stay or go, you will need to demonstrate and reinforce your expertise and abilities to management in order to convince them you should stay.

    Your best hope, if you do sense that redundancy is coming and it’s out of your control, is to start looking for another job. You are the most attractive to a potential employer when you are still employed.

    Being told your role is redundant can be difficult to process. Try to prepare and plan for what to say in a redundancy meeting.

    And if the worse has already happened, try to stay positive and focus on your future. Hopefully your company will offer the services of an outplacement company to help you quickly find a new role or business opportunity, or there are lots of resources on our website for you to look at.

    See our previous post for more signs of possible redundancies.