How to support employees through redundancy with their mental health

woman being made redundant, redundancy, leaving a jobBeing made redundant shakes your world upside down at any time; but the uncertainty that surrounds it is so much worse than normal during the pandemic and lockdowns.

Here Mark Newey, leading psychotherapist and founder of mental wellness platform, www.headucate.me, gives us the lowdown on how to support employees through a redundancy.

A good employer is far-sighted enough to know that looking after those whom they are letting go, is not only the right thing to do, but essential in retaining a reputation as a good and caring employer.

There are three pillars to looking after these people:

Making sure that their departure is as healthy and amicable as possible. This means being open and honest about the reasons for redundancy and the selection process. It also means giving them constructive career advice to help them find a new job. Lastly it means treating them with dignity: in a large corporation it is essential that somebody from senior management comes in person to say thank you and sorry.

Provide access to relevant Career Coaching. This means either coaching in-house or signposting relevant professional associations and recruitment agencies. Coaching should cover the job search basics: CV writing, how to work with recruitment agencies, networking, and interview techniques, as well as the importance of choosing the right employer with a positive corporate culture.

Finally, the most important of all: Mental Wellness Education. Being made redundant is one of the most stressful of all life experiences and inevitably leads to anxiety and if somebody is jobless for an extended period also leads to depression. To find and maintain mental wellness, we need to understand what Stress, Anxiety and Depression actually are and what purpose they serve. Mental Wellness also involves the self-development process of gaining deep level Self Awareness, Self Esteem (neither of which most of us have), a Vision for Life and ultimately Self-Empowerment. This will help us to handle all the bombshells as we go through life.

It is essential to reframe redundancy as the opportunity to redefine your future and discover what you want from life; after all, 85% of workers globally do not feel engaged with their job (State of the Global Workplace‘, Gallup) We spend 65%+ of our waking life at work, so enjoying our work is essential to mental wellness and happiness.

Redundancy gives us the chance to find out what good work is for us. Having gained the necessary Self Awareness and Self Esteem form Mental Wellness Education, we can work out what the perfect job for us is and focus our job search and employer approach accordingly, rather than splattering out 20 applications a day. The passion we have for that work will come out in our CV and introduction letters, making much more exciting reading for potential employers.

The great thing about Mental Wellness Education is it can be delivered completely confidentially and anonymously on mobile phones and is extremely cost-effective. There’s a wide spread of ROI (Return on Investment) on mental wellness initiatives in Employee Engagement programmes: from 4:1 all the way up to 11:1 and interventions that achieve higher returns tend to have the following characteristics (Deloitte: Mental Health and Employers January 2020):

  • They offer a large‑scale culture change, or organisation‑wide initiatives supporting large numbers of employees.
  • They are focused on prevention or designed to build employee resilience.
  • They use technology.

There has probably never been a more important time to include mental wellness in outplacement programmes.

To discover more, please visit www.headucate.me.

About the author

Mark Newey Mark has a rare body of knowledge and practical experience based around neuro-science, which combines mental wellness (Stress, Anxiety and Depression), leadership psychology and life and executive coaching.

After 18 stressful years of working for corporations in international marketing, Mark set up his own training company, which was initially extremely successful, but collapsed due to a bad debt from a major client; adding to the many years of stress, this pushed Mark over the edge, triggering a personal breakdown.

Rather than going on medication, Mark fought through his breakdown, creating a huge curiosity in the mind. This led to him training in the neurosciences and a complete career change, which has become his life’s work and calling.

He set up his own psychotherapy practice in 2000 and has since helped nearly three thousand people from all walks of life, from school children through to high-flying corporate banking executives, beat Stress, Anxiety, Depression and lack of self-esteem and motivation.

His mission is to revolutionise the way we approach mental health with Mental Wellness Education through online programmes, businesses and schools. To discover more, visit www.headucate.me.


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