Creative Redundancy Selection
The difference between average and high performers
Traditional redundancy selection matrices have been criticised by businesses for not really capturing the essential differences between highly valued employees and ones who are less capable.
Measuring objective data such as disciplinary and attendance may highlight under performers but it doesn’t distinguish between the average and the high performers. This is where HR will usually advise you to include performance review data, which is a great idea in principal, however it is often the case that this in not as informative as you would like. Maybe at the time, you didn’t want to rock the boat too much ahead of a busy period such as year-end, so you didn’t present the feedback about Bill’s shortcomings? Or maybe you did but there is another manager on the team who sees everyone through rose-coloured glasses and so it looks like her direct reports are all much higher performers than your team?
We all know who are the high fliers but may not always have data to back up our opinions. For example, it might be that one of your designers shows more creativity or that one of your sales people is more effective at relationship-building but how do you measure this credibly?
Is subjective criteria the answer?
You can use subjective criteria, however all criteria used for selection must be justifiable i.e. relevant to the role for which you are selecting and you must not use only subjective criteria. Therefore, if you wish to include some subjective criteria, it is important to have a balance of some objective as well.
When identifying what criteria you intend to use, it is essential that you properly consult with affected employees and their representatives. Be open about the criteria you propose, its’ relevance to the role and exactly how you intend to measure it. With opinion-based criteria, include descriptions and examples of types of behaviours and how you intend to score them. It is essential to have examples of behaviours witnessed (more than one!) to back up proposed scores.
It is also essential to avoid any criteria which might be considered discriminatory i.e. Length of service may favour older employees, leading to claims of age discrimination, whereas measuring absence – may discriminate against those with long term health conditions or disabilities. It may be advisable in some circumstances to consider amending criteria as a ‘reasonable adjustment’ to prevent a disabled employee from suffering a substantial disadvantage.
Read more on how to maintain productivity whilst undergoing redundancies in your business here.
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