Managing Employee Redeployment: Creating Value Through Opportunity

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 that 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 legislation around the world and often generous company compensation policy that can greatly increase the cost of this redeployment exercise. In an article in the U.K.-based Sunday Times, a large scale redundancy programmed underway at the Irish telecoms operations Eircom 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 organizations 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 on 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. This ISG white paper discusses how to establish a positive redeployment culture.