Managers admit redundancy is 'inevitable'

Is redundancy inevitable in the current economic climate?  A new survey has asked UK managers and leaders for their views…

Against a backdrop of over 50,000 job losses since January 5 and a total of 1.92 million unemployed, key findings show that:

•      amongst the most common ‘redundancy checklists’ sought by individuals in December and January, was ‘coping with redundancy: the next day’.  The lowest recorded request was for help ‘managing the survivors’

•      1 in 4 respondents to survey of 1,216 individuals (28 per cent) admit they are currently updating their CV in readiness for a job search

•      a similar proportion (27 per cent) are making extra efforts to develop business networks, hoping to uncover job opportunities

•      64 per cent have worked in an organisation where others have been made redundant

However, despite clear evidence of a “managers’ malaise”, the surveys also uncover some positive news.  73 per cent, for example, argue that there is less stigma attached to redundancy than during the 1990s and 51 per cent believe the current economic climate is the ‘perfect opportunity to reassess my career’.

Evidence also suggests that the UK’s managers and leaders are making plans to survive the recession and build their career over the long-term.  22 per cent indicated that they intend to develop transferable skills during 2009, with 25 per cent also saying they plan to undertake a qualification.  Surprisingly, 5 per cent also intend to start their own business.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, says: “Quite clearly, any suggestion that there is already ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is misplaced.  However, if we can help people to dig deep and develop their skills this may enable them to move forwards as well as to move on.  There is a worrying lack of concern about helping those who survive redundancy and unless these individuals are given a focus or sense of direction, the spiral of low productivity and morale will continue on a downward trend.”

To help individuals cope with job losses, the CMI has created a Redundancy Support Service for its members.  It offers a free legal advice line (via 01536 207400), a Careers Advice Service and a Job Search Facility.  Details can be seen at

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