The ABC announced this week the shedding of 400 Jobs or just on 15% of its workforce, as a result of cuts to its budget. While events of this kind are all too commonplace throughout the workforce, the ways different organisations decide to go about shedding their staff can vary greatly.
In the case of the ABC, a redundancy process that has been nicknamed “The Hunger Games” after the movie which pitted teenagers in a battle to the death, will see staff compete against each other for fewer jobs through a skills assessment and interview process to determine who will be made redundant. Staff with similar skills will be placed in “pools” where they will be audited before a decision is made on which staff will stay or be made redundant.
Events and processes like these at the ABC inevitably lead to anxiety and stress, often fuelled by weeks or months of rumour before the announcement, and second-guessing management’s intentions. Then follows the uncertainty, awkwardness and mistrust of colleagues and co-workers as the pressure-cooker of competition unfolds. For individuals and organisations alike, these can be very dislocating times.
While redundancy processes are a test of personal resilience they also shine the spotlight directly on your prospects for immediate employability, either with your current employer or someone new. In many ways they are the ultimate test of your skills, highlighting the need to be actively managing your career by keeping your skills current, flexible and adaptable to the market.
There’s a great saying that your career will happen with or without your attention. It won’t stand still and nor will you. Better to be active, nimble and open to opportunities – ahead of the game – so that when your skills are tested you can be reasonably confident of implementing a Plan B, even amidst the angst and uncertainty of workplace change.
Until next time, go well!