Has redundancy finally lost its stigma? That is the big question. We’re a positive bunch here at City CV, so in a recent team meeting (on Zoom of course) we were all asked to name one silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team’s top three silver linings were:
- Medical innovation
- Greater emphasis on work/life balance
- Less stigma attached to redundancy
According to new research from LinkedIn, nearly seven in 10 people agree that the stigma around redundancy has reduced significantly. Apparently, a third of the 2,000 survey respondents have lied about being out of work in the past, with one in ten hiding the news even from their family and friends, citing embarrassment as the main reason.
Perhaps that’s understandable when you consider that a quarter of those surveyed admitted to previously judging or looking down on people out of work. Now, three in five say they feel more empathy for those unemployed, after being made redundant themselves. Encouragingly, people being made redundant due to COVID-19 are three times more likely to ask for help and lean on their network of friends, family and former colleagues, compared to those who experienced redundancy before the pandemic.
The redundancy stigma mindset shift is hugely welcome
For many people the challenge of being made redundant is not just dealing with finding a new job. It’s the stigma that is attached to the concept. I’m sad that it’s taken a pandemic for society to find more empathy and understanding for those going through redundancy – but I’m encouraged that we are now witnessing this shift in mindset.
Redundancy can happen to anyone. Especially now, as a result of lockdowns, the number of people being made redundant in the UK has soared to a record high. Sadly, for the next few months at least, redundancies are set to continue on that upward trajectory into the millions.
We’re seeing first-hand the sense of loss and anxiety people experience when they’re made redundant – particularly if they’ve worked at the same organisation for many years. I’ve always encouraged clients to be positive, confident and actively share that they’re looking for new opportunities with their network and on LinkedIn. But, for many, it’s not just the redundancy that is painful, it’s the insensitive way it’s handled by their employer that leaves them feeling so bereft and hopeless.
Many companies have been hit hard by COVID-19 and, despite a temporary lifeline provided by furlough, redundancies are inevitable. But, having an effective and supportive outplacement service gives employees the tools to take control of their career and swiftly transition to pastures new. It also helps businesses to maintain their reputation along with the goodwill of their remaining employees.