The social impact of redundancies


people helping each other up mountainResearch from University of Manchester has discovered that being made redundant can scar an individual’s trust in others, with the effects lasting up to a decade. With society recovering from one of the longest recessions in recent history, incorporating large scale job losses, Scientist Dr James Laurence warns of the implications of the social impact of redundancies, with trust being closely linked to significant social benefits including health, happiness and social cohesion.

Cost of mistrust

These latest findings highlight the long term effects of job displacement on individuals.  As Dr Laurence states, “being made redundant from your job not only makes people less willing to trust others but that this increased distrust and cynicism lasts at least nine years after being forced out of work”. It could even suggest a more significant problem for the organisations releasing staff, as trust is crucial for both employee and brand loyalty. Particularly so in today’s digital age where there is more risk to employer reputation from disgruntled ex-employees airing their grievances online.

Restructure and redundancy

Although restructure and redundancy are an inevitable part of the evolution of a business, whether downsizing to reflect market pressures or restructuring for growth, how an employer chooses to approach redundancies can have a huge impact on how displaced employees initially react and how they feel about the organisation in the long term.

Employers have the power to minimise the effects of redundancy by fully supporting the affected employees through the transition. By providing support, this sends out a positive message to those employees that remain within the company, fostering trust in the workplace.

Outplacement Support

One way to lessen the effects of redundancy is to offer Outplacement Support. Although it can’t take away the emotions that will be stirred by redundancy, it is a positive form of support that will help affected employees move forward with their job search and into their next role quickly. By providing this support, it shows that you care and want to help individuals where possible and ensures that remaining staff don’t feel as guilty about keeping their jobs. It can help improve the reputation of the employer during the redundancy process which can assist with maintaining productivity levels, encouraging employee engagement and improving retention.

It’s clear to see that there is a greater responsibility for employers to lessen the social impact of redundancies, no matter how unavoidable they are. The social impact of redundancies can have far reaching implications, however by handling these situations carefully, and where possible providing support, we can work to minimise the long and short term effects for the individual, organisation and for society as a whole.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement services and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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