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Where you have employees whose roles are made redundant in a restructure, it is natural and often a good business move to consider how to otherwise deploy those employees in your business to retain their skills and experience. Redeploying employees can undoubtedly be a win-win for employees and your business alike. However, it can still be a fraught situation with emotions running high. Managing the situation with your employee and the potential redeployment is essential to do right. This article sets out three tips to consider when redeploying employees, including:

  • considering transferable skills and experience; 
  • working with your team leaders; and 
  • managing employees who prove difficult to redeploy.

Consider Your Employee’s Transferrable Skills and Experience

Redeployment works best when an employee can take the skills and experience in one area of the business and directly apply them in a redeployed position. The closer the employee’s proposed new role matches their existing one, the more likely they will be an immediate success in that new role. It usually becomes an easy proposition for their new team. There can still be some issues, such as if the role is similar, but the employee would need to work in a new branch or office. However, you and your redeployed employee can usually work these through to find an arrangement that works.

Importantly, your employees will not always have skills that are easily transferable elsewhere in the business. Think holistically at this point in terms of what makes sense as a redeployment for those employees. It may be that you offer to redeploy them into an area that they are interested in but do not have as much experience. You should check what your employees’ previous roles were, including before they worked for your business. It might be that your employees have more transferable skills and experience than you appreciate at first, which can increase the opportunities for redeployment.

Find Opportunities Through Discussions With Team Leaders

Particularly in a medium-sized or siloed business, you may not immediately have a clear sense of where there could be scope to redeploy an employee in your business. The best strategy is to have an open and frank discussion with your team leaders about whether they have additional roles or tasks that a redeployed employee could do. Not all team leaders are receptive to receiving redeployed employees. They may fear that they will not have the skills or experience required or dislike disruption to their team. In discussion with your team leaders, you should:

  • play a fair broker role, selling the benefits of the redeployed employee; 
  • have an open mind about what roles and responsibilities the employee could do, even if they are different from what the employee is currently doing; and 
  • listen to what your team leaders are telling you. If there are good reasons not to redeploy an employee into their team, they may be giving you good cautionary advice. 

Dealing With Employees Who May Be Difficult to Redeploy

Not all employees will be easy to redeploy. For a variety of reasons, it may be hard to redeploy a specific employee. Potentially they are unwilling to do a role other than what they are currently doing, or they may not want to work in a different location. Remember that an employee does not have to agree to redeployment. Likewise, as an employer, you do not necessarily have to agree to redeploy an employee. An exception is if such a provision is in their employment agreement. 

Listen to the reasonings of your employee for not wanting to be redeployed and take an open mind as to whether you can find a role that they would be happy with. However, while you usually want to retain their skills and experience, this is not always possible.

Key Takeaways

Redeploying employees can be a difficult process, but it often can benefit the employee and business alike. The result is that an employee can keep their job, and the business can retain accumulated institutional knowledge and experience. Some tips during a redeployment process are to explore the employee’s transferable skills and experience, including other skills and experience they may have accumulated before your business. You should try to find opportunities that suit all parties through free and frank discussions with your business leaders. Likewise, keep an open mind with employees who are inflexible at first with being redeployed.

If you want to know more about successfully redeploying employees, contact LegalVision’s employment lawyers on 0800 005 570 or complete the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are transferable skills in the context of redeployment?

Transferable skills are skills that an employee can take and apply in a different role even if the substance or responsibilities of that role are relatively different. For instance, customer service skills are helpful both in the context of a retail assistant on the counter and providing customer support over the phone.

What happens if other teams are unwilling to include a redeployed employee?

This can be a difficult situation. You should talk to your team leaders and understand where the unwillingness is coming from. If they have a personality clash with the employee, you should take a step back and consider whether there are other possibilities of redeployment. However, it may just take a conversation to get those team leaders to relent.

What happens if an employee does not agree to your proposed redeployment?

Employees do not have to agree to be redeployed and can simply leave the business instead. Employers cannot force employees to accept redeployment.

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