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How to avoid Twitter’s approach to making changes in the workplace
Stephanie Cookson, Solicitor at Napthens on what employers can learn from Twitter’s approach to implement change in the workplace.
Elon Musk has recently stepped into the head role at Twitter in a $44 billion deal and has wasted no time in giving the internal practices a shakeup to cut costs, stating that bankruptcy is not out of the question.
In his short time in charge, the world’s richest person has already carried out a huge restructure which saw 3,700 roles being made redundant without any prior consultation; for context this is just under 50% of Twitter’s total global workforce. Employees were told that they would be informed by email as to whether or not they were being let go. In addition, he has scrapped free lunches and removed homeworking which has not been well received by employees.
It’s safe to say that Elon Musk’s first impression has left employees feeling unappreciated, undervalued and worried for their jobs. Elon Musk’s short time with the company has been marked by chaos and uncertainty.
What can employers learn from this?
If it is not already obvious, we strongly discourage following Elon Musk’s approach. Whilst cost cutting measures are often necessary, there are procedures that must be followed to ensure that employer’s actions are compliant with employment legislation. We have set out some of our top tips in order to deal with changes in the workplace.
If you are planning to make internal changes, early communication is key to maintain positive workplace relationships.
If you want to get your employees on board with the planned changes, make sure employees understand not only what changes are being proposed but why the changes are being proposed. Employees don’t like leaving their comfort zones so if they feel involved in the process it will help.
Employees appreciate honesty so don’t try to hide from the truth. If employees are likely to face changes, be clear about what the changes are going to look like. In a recent survey, 64% of employees have said their employers were not honest about the changes that they would face. Not only does this break trust and confidence that employees have in their employers, but also leaves employees feeling disheartened and unmotivated.
Follow the correct processes
Before making any changes, consider what legal obligations you have to your employees. Are you entitled to make the changes? Do you need employee consent before making changes? Do you need to consult with employees about changes? As a reminder, it is a legal obligation to carry out consultations with affected employees if you are planning on making changes to terms and conditions of employment, or you are considering making redundancies.
If you have any questions in relation to any employment law issue, then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Napthens’ Employment Team or use the enquiries form on your QCS dashboard to book a free 30-minute call back.
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