How does the “Grief Cycle” Impact on Outplacement? Part 2

 In Job Help Blog

The Grief Cycle & Job loss – part 2

In my previous blog I explained how, if an individual’s position were to be made redundant, that individual would almost certainly go through the “Grief Cycle” as they sought to move to a new role.

I further gave a brief overview of the Grief Cycle and explained why understanding it can be really, really helpful.

Slightly simplistically, redundancies normally fall into one of two categories. Firstly, there are large-scale redundancy programmes. Invariably these will have been accompanied by periods of employer consultation. Secondly, there is the situation where a single position is made redundant.

Remembering that the first stage of the Grief Cycle is ‘disbelief’, let us explore how the cycle impacts on individuals in the above two categories.

Countless generations of soldiers have gone to war, all of them believing that the bad things that happen in war would be to the person on their left or on their right. It would never happen to them. This tends to be exactly the same situation in large-scale redundancy programmes. Although the individual knows that there will be redundancies almost invariably they will not believe this will impact on them. When it does, they will be hit by the first stage of the Grief Cycle – as simple as that!

Now let’s look at the single position situation. UK law requires that “reasonable consultation” take place before an individual’s position be made redundant. However, it doesn’t really do a very good job of describing what “reasonable consultation” is. In practice, often a solus redundancy will all happen within a single day. Understandably in this situation the level of disbelief can be very much higher.

Disbelief is part of the Grief Cycle

In both situations, the important factor is that the individual must recognise in themselves that their disbelief is ill founded. It has happened; their position has been made redundant. They are going to be out of work. They need to do something about that.

However, unless the individual realises that the disbelief is just the first part of the Grief Cycle, it is all too possible to stick with that disbelief for days, weeks and even months. And of course, during that period no real effort will be made to find a new position.

Accepting that what has happened has happened will allow the individual to move on and to make positive use of the second stage of the Grief Cycle – Anger!

I will pick this up in my next blog.

Phil Boyle has over 28 years of board level headhunting and outplacement experience. He is one of the country’s most experienced and well respected executive recruitment and outplacement consultants. During his career Phil has conducted face-to-face interviews and psychometric assessments of nearly 10,000 inplacement and outplacement candidates.  Click Here to contact us for more information.
 

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