Last week I presented a session at the Career Development Association of Australia’s national conference on delivering successful internal redeployment programs based on my extensive experience in the redeployment team at the University of Sydney.
Career practitioners who support organisations with internal change programs play a challenging and sensitive role in supporting staff members who are impacted by redundancy whilst working closely with HR and consulting to change leaders.
In my redeployment advisor position, I provided strategic advice and support to aid effective implementation of change programs across the university. This article summarises what I spoke about at the conference and hopefully give you some insight into what a redeployment advisor does.
Consulting with change leaders
A key component of being a redeployment advisor is to provide strategic and operational advice to the change leader to support their change vision and what they are trying to achieve. It is important to align redeployment support for staff members with the change strategy of the area. A few things you need to consider and ask as you embark on a new project:
- What is the change vision and what are they trying to achieve – this helps your planning
- Engage early and build relationships with key leaders and project managers
- Be clear on your role, your responsibilities and boundaries
- Provide a timeline of redeployment activity to support key program dates
Working with internal HR
Partnering with local HR business partners and advisors will assist your support of a change program in many ways, so don’t underestimate their networks and prior knowledge.
- HR know the organisation and the leaders you are working with and have access to information you won’t
- Have a stronger relationship with the change leader – advising on all HR issues in the area, not just change, so they understand the bigger picture
- HR’s main role is to support the change leader, your role is to support the staff members
- Collaborate and provide a united front with HR when meeting with the change leaders
HR are a great resource and know the organisation, local units and the change leaders you are consulting to. The have previous experience and relationship with the leaders, and they will have access to information you won’t and be able to provide you with an insight into understanding the bigger picture.
Supporting impacted staff members
Last but definitely not the least important. For me, staff members always came first.
I cannot reiterate that you must support, support, and support again. Repeat your messaging and offerings of how you can support them and be consistent. For the staff, this could be the most challenging time of their career as they juggle the thought of losing their position as well as managing their personal lives.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – in emotional and sensitive time, people may not listen initially. Be prepared to offer support when staff are ready
- Offer a range of career transition support services – workshops, individual meetings, email/phone support
- If you cannot support, who can assist? Is there an Employee Assistance Program?
- Respond in a timely manner
- Positive redeployment support is well received during difficult times and this feedback will be heard by HR and the Change leaders.
Bring it all together
When working with large and complex organisations, the redeployment role will have exposure to a diverse range of challenges and project. Here are my top tips to consider:
- Communication is key – engage early and maintain regular contact with all involved
- Bring everyone who needs to be involved to regular team meetings from the beginning
- Be wary of cutting corners
- Be consistent with your offerings
- Be resilient and looking after yourself is critical. Your wellbeing and mindset is crucial for delivering support to everyone – especially highly stressed and anxious people.
Working on change programs has been one of my most challenging and rewarding careers and I hope you have learnt something from my experience that you can bring to your own roles or future career paths.
For more information on the University’s redeployment process and support please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org