27 Jan 2021
Let’s talk about redundancy. Everyone's favourite topic, right?
According to the office of national statistics; redundancy was up by 113,000 last year, the biggest rise since 2009. Not only that, an Article, in the independent, in September 2020 quoted an analysis by the institute for employment studies, that found that
"It is likely the UK will be hit by around 450,000 redundancies in the coming months, and they could exceed 700,000."
These are some concerning figures and while the cause for these redundancies is likely to be related to the pandemic, there are bound to be some ‘opportunist’ employers who are using the timing to their advantage. That though is beside the point if you, or someone close to you, are in the firing line.
I’m sure we have all experienced redundancy from one angle or another. Perhaps you know someone who has been made redundant or maybe you were on the receiving end of a redundancy process.
If you haven’t been exposed to it yet then there’s every chance you might, going by the projected figures above, not wanting to put a dampener on the new year or anything!
The Highs and Lows.
Losing your job is life-changing, however you look at it. It could be positive; perhaps you were looking for a new challenge anyway or were actually quite unhappy in your job and it was the perfect opportunity to make that leap. Or, more often than not, it could be negative; the job that you love and the salary that you, and your household, depend on are suddenly taken from you and you can’t see how you will manage.
The emotions we go through when something like this happens, having something that is apparently ours taken from us, can be mixed. But why do we feel so strongly about ‘just a job’? Is it purely the financial impact or does it go a bit deeper than that? When you spend the majority of your waking hours with a group of people, or in a certain place, or working on a particular project, you will inevitably grow attached and you may begin to identify as the job itself. When you’re made redundant, you’re not just losing a job, you’re losing part of your identity?
The Importance of Connection.
Connection is an interesting topic and one we have mused on before. It is human nature to crave connection, we are sensual beings. Something as small as a handshake or a pat on the back can make us feel welcomed or accepted. A hug from a close friend can often say far more than any well-placed word in an email can. With the way the world is just now, these simple ways of connecting with our fellow humans are not possible and the rise in remote working makes most of our interactions with our colleagues, through a screen or over the phone.
Studies, like this one Here, have shown that the reason positive physical touch makes us feel good is that oxytocin is released in the brain. The handy ways to stay connected, covered in our previous blog Put the fun back into remote working all work, to some degree, as they all encourage this release of oxytocin. But without positive physical contact, we will always be somewhat lacking.
So how do you keep this feeling of connection when the world, as you know it, is falling apart around you and you actually feel more rejected than anything else?
The important thing is to remember that ‘you’ aren’t being rejected, it’s not you that is redundant, it's your role. It’s easy to forget this and take it personally and, in the process, distance yourself from your friends and work colleagues.
What about a leaving gift, is it acceptable to get someone a 'happy redundancy' card and gift? In some cases possibly, but I imagine these would be few and far between. But surely some sort of leaving sentiment would be appropriate?
The giving and receiving of gifts is another brilliant way of staying connected and, you guessed it, it's another super way of boosting your oxytocin levels. So why is this even a question? Surely the obvious thing to do for someone who is feeling sad, hurt, upset and generally rejected, is to get them something to say; you are special, thank you for all you have done, good luck on your next adventure and so on? Why would you not? The problem with redundancy is it carries with it an air of blame, anger and discomfort, often people will not even mention it so as not to feel the discomfort of the conversation. And often these people will leave the job that they love without a notice period or so much as a thank you, good luck, or goodbye!
We say give, give, give, embrace the awkwardness. If the recipient doesn’t like the sentiment, because they’re too angry then so be it. But deep down everyone loves a little something. Just steer clear of “HAPPY REDUNDANCY” and you should be fine!
We’d love to know your thoughts on the subject and any first-hand experiences you’d like to share. Let’s connect. Join the conversation and comment below.
And remember, if you need help with your redundancy collection we’ve got the perfect solution. Make it a GiftRound collection!