Few people understand the range of emotions and issues that a newly unemployed individual faces during retrenchment.

Senior managers who have been with an organisation for a long period of time, are faced with a very complex range of emotions. Their personal life, family, hobbies and leisure activities have all been scheduled and designed around their specific work and the sustenance that it provides. The type of apartment that they buy, the car that they drive, the lifestyle that they lead, and even the food the food that they eat. For those managers who are married with children, the school their children goes to, and the classes that they have signed up, etc. all make a difference. Social life beyond the family unit is usually pegged with the corporate title of the manager, as well as the people they interact with at work.

But just through a retrenchment exercise these basic components of their lives unravel rapidly; similar to a car trying to run without wheels – life simply grinds to a halt.

All these tangibles are nothing compared to the intangible pains that is to be inflicted on a newly unemployed individual.

Shock is always going to be the first emotion to hit upon hearing this terrible news. As the whole world crumbles around these individuals, anger and denial starts to set in, as they question, “Why me?”, “I have always done my best!”

Their self-confidence starts to plummet as they unknowingly think to themselves that they are at fault, scrutinising all the possible fault lines over the recent past and psychologically punishing themselves for what went wrong and what could they have done differently.

Reality starts to set in, coupled with an increase in anxiety and panic as the focus is now on the impending financial disaster. This most likely occurs if these individuals had not been doing their financial planning properly or saving up for rainy days.

The feeling of shame and self-blame conflicted with their responsibility to share the news with their family ails them. An overall sense of helplessness, perhaps an outburst of an unwarranted release of pent-up anger is thrust upon their family. Irritable and confused, they continue the downward spiral towards deep depression.

In their mind, “If only someone could help at this moment, tell me what to do, and guide me out of this crisis”.

We are the answer to these seemingly unending problems, and we can help.

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staying employable

In today’s ever-changing business climate, falling victim to retrenchment, or losing your job for any reasons at all – is not only possible but very likely to happen at least once in your life time. The pace of business has picked up in speed considerably over the past few years, along with quick technological changes. Some companies have turned their shutters before they even show the fruits of their labour.

According to International Labour Organisation, job instability has been increasing over the past few years, which have been caused by low rate of employment through permanent contracts since the financial crisis. Only 1 in 4 is employed on a permanent basis, globally. Taking your job for granted is generally, not a wise decision. We all must prepare ourselves for any sudden changes in company direction, which includes letting go of employees as they downsize or streamline their processes, as well as the rising trend of employing individuals on temporary or short-term contracts.

We cannot stop the demand for more short-term or temporary contracts, but we can possess transferable skills and intangible qualities that help us to stay employable, at the very least.

Communication and analytical skills, resourcefulness, a strong network and having a great personality that encourages teamwork and accountability among colleagues are skills that are attractive to employers and anyone seeking to hire competent employees.

All of these valuable skills will definitely allow you to be more resilient towards the increased mercy of volatile market forces.

Want to learn how to equip yourself with these vital skills?

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Downsizing, retrenchment, layoffs – whichever the term is used, cutting out employees from an organisation is no easy task for senior managers who are assigned to let go previous employed individuals.

In many situations, senior managers often find themselves having to play the role of the villain. They consistently deal with emotional episodes with each retrenched individual, a difficult task to do so, especially when the person they are laying off is someone who they have trusted and worked with for many months or even years.

However, it is possible to lessen the usual negative effect that comes with a layoff, which can be done when a proper outplacement program is put in place.



Senior managers who are given a clear idea of the steps involved in the layoff process, as well as support and help along the way is extremely beneficial. Managers who let their staff know that, they will not be leaving them in limbo, and that the company in question will be doing everything possible to put them in the right path for the next phase of their life is very comforting.

The sincerity of the managers in looking out for the laid off individuals during this trying time will eventually show through, making the final handshake palatable and touched with a sense of gratefulness. It is not anyone’s fault when an organisation is forced into making a drastic human resource correction and adjustment. Laid off employees may not accept that they are the ones being sacrificed in this exercise, but they can eventually understand the decisions and underlying circumstances that forced the hands of the decision makers during this process.

Until the day that these employees finally leave the company, it is an opportunity for senior managers to assist them in every way possible. This is simply the very least managers can do for their comrades who had been fighting by their side for a specific amount of time. Senior managers must ensure that these employees are prepared to get into the job market again; having the prerequisites to ace interviews, learning new skills along the way and even explore in starting up and pursuing their own dreams.

Senior managers can be the answer to the needs of these people, and show them how much you appreciated them.

Contact us today. We can help.