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How did Ford manage their employee redundancy?

Discover what best-practice management of employee redundancy looks like.

This month the last Ford rolled off the production line in Australia.


While the powerful global brand isn’t disappearing altogether, nor its status as a significant employer of Australians, by this time next year there will be no automotive manufacturing left in Australia from any of the mainstream car companies.


The brands will live on, but the employees that spent so many years working for these employers will be forced to manage career change. The challenge for the employees is the career changes they face were not of their choosing.


The automotive industry is not alone in dealing with this structural change. Many organisations across the Government and Private sector need to manage the impact of change for the entity and its employees.


The industry, and all levels of Government, have been incredibly empathetic towards the employees that work in automotive and  have made major investments in support services, to ensure employees have the best opportunity for the next phases of their career.


In this month’s blog, we walk through the key areas of transition support Ford provided to ensure their employees could more effectively manage career change.


What does ‘good’ transition management look like?

Across the major car companies, each manufacturer has adopted a different approach to prepare their employees for transition.


Organisations find no joy managing employee redundancy, and across all manufacturers there is a clear intention to provide support for their, typically long serving, employees.


When it comes to best-practice transition management six core areas immediately come to mind. These include:


1. Career planning

2. Job searching

3. Financial advice

4. Re-training support

5. Development of employment networks

6. Building a Full Circle© network of employers seeking to employ industry employees with their specific skills


These are all valuable areas worthy of focus and are likely to assist an employee transition towards a new career. However, in our experience there are additional intangible factors which should be factored into transition support.


The difference between good and World-Class

The reason why we started this blog discussing Ford, is because they’re part of an industry recognising the significance of the closure decision and the difference between ‘good’ and ‘world-class’ employee redundancy management.


They understand there are many intangible factors which need to be factored into offering transition support which clearly addresses the needs of their employees.


There are eight offerings which separate good from World-Class. These include:


1. Preparing for and managing change

2. Managing salary expectations

3. Managing changes to working conditions

4. Preparing employees for a different way of working

5. Preparing employees to understand the needs of external employers

6. Building alternative communication skills

7. Building initiative skills

8. Development of a personal value proposition


Too many times we’ve seen these eight points be completely overlooked or disregarded by an organisation and its employees. Often, these skills are hard to define and measure, but the impact of incorporating this type of assistance into a transition plan can pay dividends in terms of sustainable new employment. 


Choice Career Services - Ford Broadmedows

Choice Career Service – Helping Ford achieve their World-Class employee transition plan at their Broadmeadows plant.


By focusing on both the immediately obvious and the softer skills involved in career transition, employees are given the best opportunity to take control over the next phase of their career, and make the best of the opportunity presented by a redundancy.


What next?

At Choice Career Services, we’ve supported hundreds of organisations better manage the human impact of change. We provide Ford with the support they required, and we’re excited to help any organisation better support employees during a career transition.

To help you better manage the human impact of change, please call us on 1800 823 213.




The secret to successful organisational change management

Discover the four building blocks of successful organisational change management

Organisational change management is essential as transformation becomes the way forward in today’s digital environment. But, how will you manage the human impact of these changes?


Behind every great organisation is a thriving workplace comprised of individual employees. A failure of any organisation to meet their basic needs during workplace change could be disastrous for morale and retention!


A recent McKinsey article discussed the four building blocks critical for building a solid foundation to support your organisational change management and transformation initiatives.


Known as the ‘influence model’ it was estimate change programs supported by this basic framework were eight times more likely to succeed!  With such significant results, why wouldn’t you implement this in your organisation?


Tell me more about the four building blocks

According to McKinsey the influence model is characterised by four key areas which aim to change employee mindset and foster positive behaviours. Before a deep-dive into each area see the image below for an overview of how it all sits together:


Graphic of the four building blocks

Image by Tessa Basford and Bill Schaninger in McKinsey Quarterly, April 2016.


1. Fostering understanding and conviction:

In last month’s blog we talked about the need for organisation to take a journey where the destination is clearly understood across the organisation, along with the journey’s milestones.


For successful organisational change management the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the transformation must be understood across all levels of the organisation, not just the executive! McKinsey makes a similar point, without fostering an environment of understanding and conviction your change program is off to a poor start.


2. Reinforcing with formal mechanisms:

Whenever you’re embarking on an organisational change management project, outlining the milestone and a process for recognising them and celebrating their achievement is critical.


As McKinsey argues, recognition and celebration don’t have to be monetary. Another benefit of reinforcing the achievement of a milestone is it embeds the behaviours required to achieve further progress.


This sounds like common sense, but remember only 1 in 4 change management programs are successful long term so, as they say, “it ain’t that common.”


3. Developing talent and skills:

For organisational change management initiatives to succeed people must believe their efforts will assist in making the change.


Seeing the impact of change (we can now leverage technology to provide almost real time feedback or reinforcement) will instil in the organisation the confidence to continue to move forward with purpose.


4. Role modelling:

Critical for organisational change is having key influencers within the organisation becoming champions of change. Social media channels are one we to demonstrate influence across the organisation.



How can I implement this before my next organisational change management initiative?

The four foundational elements of an organisational change management program seem to be pretty obvious right? Well, today a vast majority of organisations are failing to leverage these four key areas to hit their transformation goals.


Critically, if you’re in the middle of a change project and you feel the people around you have lost sight of the end destination, or the steps we’re meant to be taking along the way, it’s time to evaluate how you can massively improve the likelihood of the program’s success.


At Choice Career Services we’ve supported hundreds of organisations, ensuring there is clarity and structure around their change management programs. If you feel lost on a journey or are looking to set the foundations for a new initiative contact us on 1800 823 213.

Is your organisation losing half its revenue due to poor change management?

Start managing the human impact of change management and take control of the success of your organisations change initiatives.

I’m sure you’ve had the experience of sitting and listening to a new vision or strategy from the CEO. Sometimes these are a hit and you can’t wait to jump on the bus, but in some cases you can tell the impact of these changes on employees hasn’t been well considered.


Businesses need to be agile in order to remain relevant in today’s market. But this doesn’t mean overlooking the needs of employees during times of change. Without a strong roadmap to follow not only will any change initiatives struggle, but your organisation may even lose out on revenue!


A study by McKinsey looked at projects across 40 organisations with one of the key variables being an Organisational Change Management Program against a project’s ROI. This study revealed:


  • 143% ROI when an excellent OCM program was part of the initiative
  • Only 35% ROI when there was a poor OCM program or no program


Therefore, while you may not be involved directly in generating revenue, your role in managing the human impact of change can result in a better ROI – so make sure your management team doesn’t overlook this!



Why bother with Organisational Change Management?

Organisations have to change, but managing how this change impacts employees is critical in determining the overall success of these initiatives. Key things to consider are how the plan will impact the people required to deliver the changes, and how will they be expected to deliver?


Over years of experience, we’ve seen some truly innovative ideas become unfortunate episodes in an organisation because they lacked a roadmap to follow. It’s your job to ensure that a great change management plan becomes embedded in an organisation, and that everyone feels comfortable jumping on board with the plan.


In our experience, the best visions and strategies can easily become a black mark in their history book because the roadmap to success is not well defined. If you want employees in your organisation to buy a bus ticket you better make sure they’re convinced the bus is heading the right way!



What does good look like?

In most cases, organisational change strategies come from the top-down. While there is nothing innately wrong with this, in our experience the single largest determinant of their success is organisation wide buy-in.


Remember, there is a human impact for every change initiative which, if successfully managed, can lead to a great result for the organisation.


Typically, it’s the people having to execute against these strategies which will make or break the program. In order for them to purchase a ticket, they’ll need a very clear sense of:

  • Where are we going?
  • Who is driving the bus?
  • Why has that destination been chosen?
  • What is the road they need to follow?
  • When are we leaving? (When does the change begin and what is expected of me?)
  • The quality of the vehicle they will use?
  • How much personal effort will they need to invest?
  • Are we there yet? (Have we established the markers and signposts to let us know we are making progress?)

So before your CEO decides to plan a companywide excursion, make sure everyone in the organisation that will be taking a ride knows exactly what is expected of them and where they’ll end up!


Of course, there is a lot more to managing organisational change and for more information you can contact Choice Career Services on 1800 823 213.

The 10 Commandments of Organisational Change Management

When your organisation makes a decision about change how well prepared are you to get the ball rolling?


It’s estimated only 25% of organisational change initiatives are successful over the long term. These results invite criticism of change that can be felt throughout a company. Especially when an average of 22% of managers felt their training to support the organisational change was ineffective.


Everyday organisation have to make decisions about changes – but how do you know if you’re making the right decision, or if your changes will resonate with the organisation?


In our experience, delivery sustainable and successful organisational change programs requires working through the following 10 steps:


Detailed planning


1. Does your plan define success?

Too often success is not defined making it difficult for those affected by change to recognise progress.


2. What is the plan?

To reach the required destination there must be a plan. If you are taking people on a journey they want to know how they will reach the destination.


3. How resilient is your organisation?

Can they successfully manage the change being proposed? How successful has the organisation been previously in managing change? If not, why will this project be any different?


4. Have all of the stakeholders affected by change been identified?

Has an analysis been undertaken of the likely impact of the change upon the stakeholders and how it is to be effectively addressed with them?


5. Is your team capable of initiating and managing the difficult conversations which are often part of the change process?


Strong leadership


6. Do you have the right people within the organisation to lead the change program?

Successful change management programs are driven by leaders who are passionate about the reasons for change and have the commitment to inspire the organisation to make the change journey.


Effective communications


7. Have you clearly defined the message to be communicated?

What is it you want those affected by change to understand? What is the most effective to communicate with each of the stakeholder groups? Who is the best person(s) to communicate with the stakeholders?




8. How will you measure progress?

It is important with major change programs for there to be milestones along the change journey which demonstrate to all stakeholders that success is being achieved.


9. Celebrate success.

The small wins add up to delivery of major change. Draw attention to what has been achieved and recognise progress is being made against plan.




10. What is the implementation plan?

Have all of the risks been identified? How are they to be managed? Who are the best people to manage implementation? Are they equipped for success?


These 10 points are fundamental to the success of any organisational change program.

Remember, change is driven by people and affects people. It is important your change program recognises there is always a human impact of change.

Don’t allow only 25% of your change management initiatives to work. By going through our 10 steps you can guarantee the success of your organisational change program.


For additional information about managing change in your organisation contact Choice Career Services on 1800 823 213


Do you have a ‘duty of care’ to your employees?

Someone I talked to recently questioned whether they had a duty of care to provide outplacement support. While some may argue a payment in lieu satisfies this position, there is debate around what is the employer’s duty of care ?


Restructuring and redundancy situations are often complicated and there are many issues an employer needs to consider. In the case above, the employer was faced with the option to make a payment in lieu of outplacement to redundant employees, or of switching to an outplacement support model funded by the organisation. Of course, employees can choose to spend the payment on outplacement support but they can also spend it on other needs. Where the latter option is chosen, has the employer provided a duty of care ?


Managing workplace change

In my conversations with organisations using outplacement services I often here employers say:

     We recognise we have a duty of car to our employees;

     We take our corporate and social responsibility seriously; or

     We need to look like we’re doing the right thing as an organisation.


While they’re all valid points, what stands out is this idea around a duty of care. When redundancy is forced on an employee, organisations have an obligation to provide professional support – outplacement is a key part of the solution.


Why outplacement support?

A well-structured outplacement support program provides transitioning employees with a number of key areas of support; some of which are not always obvious.

Quality outplacement delivers:


1. One to one support

Redundancy can mean different things to different people depending on what’s going on with that person’s life. An experienced and qualified consultant will assist the employee make sense of the event and help identify the best path forward.


2. Structure for the employee

This is particularly important to the employee immediately after they cease employment.


3. A source of independent and objective advice

Access to a consultant with experience that can guide, support, and challenge their thinking – whilst always being a source of useful information.


4. Confidence

Confidence helps employees construct the story of their skills and experience, ensuring they can articulate their abilities to potential employers.


Do you have a duty of care?

Organisations have a duty of care to their employees. This entails providing them with direction and care when faced with redundancy. Sure, you can always pay them in lieu, but does this payment satisfy your duty of care ?


When you think about outplacement services remember they’re employee focused, and the aim is to assist the employee successfully manage their transition. If this is achieved your organisation can say it has met its duty of care.


For more information about how outplacement services can support your employees contacts us at 1800 823 213.