Employeedeployment

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Managing Employee Redeployment — Creating Value Through
Opportunity
By Sarah Seabury, Director, TPI

INTRODUCTION
The management of corporate redeployments is
a business discipline that most companies
embrace only reluctantly, even after the fact. Yet
we live in an age when redeployment of
corporate personnel is becoming a regular task
for many major multinationals.
Redeployment of displaced employees either
out of the company (through separation,
redundancy or retirement) or internally through
retraining, internal recruitment and flexible
working schemes is an emotive and complex
issue that demands careful management.
Employees displaced should be viewed as
assets, not liabilities, and managed accordingly
— otherwise valuable human capital will be lost
to the business which could otherwise be utilized
to create value and offset future recruitment and
training costs.
During the business case analysis of a
captive/outsourced project this redeployment
exercise is often captured as a heavy one-time
cost, with insufficient analysis of alternative
scenarios The redeployment of employees is
covered by differing national legis lation around
the world and often generous company
compensation policy which can greatly increase
the cost of this redeployment exercise. In an
article in the UK-based Sunday Times, a large
scale redundancy programme underway at
Eircom (Irish Telecoms Operator) estimated the
average redundancy cost for its employees at
€130,000 each, with a theoretical maximum of
€170,000. Employers must consult with Works

Councils or Consultation Committees and
respect individual employee rights; failure to
follow the law results in litigation and negative
press.
The
challenging
European
legislative
environment requires organisations to take an
active approach to employee redeployment; an
approach that may create value for companies
redeploying employees elsewhere in the world.
Most companies rely upon HR managers and
generalists to plan and implement redeployment
policies. Yet the complexity of coordinating an
effective redeployment effort is causing some
employers,
particularly
multinationals,
to
consider hiring a specialist to manage these
tasks.

WHAT IS REDEPLOYMENT?
In the past decade, many large organisations
have reorganised their workforce and business
processes to reduce the cost of their front and
back office functions — either by moving them to
a specialist service provider (outsourcing), by
implementing a local “shared service centre” or
by aggregating and moving shared services
offshore to a location with advantageous labour
costs (captive). The employees who previously
provided these functions may now be surplus to
requirements, and need to be redeployed.
Redeployment comes in a number of guises.
Some or all of these may fit employees:
• Traditional
redundancy,
often
accompanied by outplacement services

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1

• Internal redeployment
• Transfer to the new organisation (shared
service centre or outsource service
provider)
• Retirement (including early or partial
retirement where applicable)
• Sabbatical or leave of absence
• Flexible working schemes (part time, job
share, flexible hours)
• Retraining, leading to redeployment in
other areas of the business
• Voluntary attrition or separation

WHY REDEPLOYMENT MANAGEMENT
IS IMPORTANT
From an employee perspective, redeployment
can be seen as an opportunity or a threat —
more often the latter! We are all subject to
feelings of inertia, with involuntary changes to
our current circumstances seen as especially
undesirable. With careful management and
communication, the negative connotations of
redeployment can be mitigated and in many
cases opportunities for individuals can be
created that may not have arisen otherwise.
Twentieth century redeployments often ended
up in...
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