Avoid redundancy exercises if possible -HR expert tells practitioners

A giant in the Human Resource (HR) arena, Mr. Kwadwo Asare-Bediako, has called on HR Managers and Practitioners in the country to avoid redundancy exercises if possible, and instead resort to other available options to address employees’ issues.

Mr. Asare-Bediako made this call when he delivered a key note address at the 10th Graduation ceremony of the Institute of Human Resources Management Practitioners, Ghana (IHRMP) held at the Ghana Academy of Arts & Sciences, Accra, last week.

Speaking on the theme ‘Managing Redundancy through Employee Engagement’, he said: “Managing a redundancy exercise is perhaps the most sensitive activity in human resource management. This is because, unlike retirement, redundancy is unexpected and unplanned; and causes pain, anguish and hopelessness”.

He admonished that if a redundancy exercise can be avoided, it should. He mentioned some options for avoiding redundancy exercises including; pay-cuts, reduction of benefits, and staff reduction through natural attrition.

“But if a redundancy programme must be carried out, it must be done through planned employee engagement and with the highest standards of objectivity, fairness, transparency and professionalism,” he added.

Mr. Asare-Bediako outlined six reasons why any organisation seeking to embark on a redundancy exercise should engage employees in managing the process. They include: Image of the company; to sustain the morale of those who will be retained; Market effect; attraction of good employees; avoiding protests and media-bashing; and maintaining the professionalism of HR Managers and the company.

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The President of IHRMP, Dr. Edward Kwapong, in a message read on his behalf by his Vice-President, Mr. Leonard Quarcoopome, charged the new graduates to be good ambassadors of the Institute as they deliver their mandate and discharge their duties. He advised them to go on to complete the L4 and be fully certified, and called on them to participate in the Institute’s activities, making it a point to “join a chapter and contribute their quota to this noble profession”.

In his welcome address, the Executive Director of the Institute, Mr. Ebenezer Agbettor, told the gathering that the ceremony was very significant because it showed that the institute since inception of the PCP in 2002 has been growing at a great pace. The numbers graduated were 164 Associates and 32 Certified members, compared with last year’s figures of 136 Associates and 9 Certified – representing  a remarkable increase of 35% in the number of students graduating.

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