When Jonathan Rogers moved his young family from the UK 25 years ago, he landed a dream job and happily settled into the New Zealand way of life. But just five years later he went through a trauma many Kiwis have experienced - redundancy.
"It was a very traumatic for me at the time," he says. "It is not something that is a great experience; it can be very scary, daunting and very anxious. But fortunately I was hooked up with a coach from CDL Insight Consulting - and that was a life-changer for me.
"I am very thankful I was provided with some transition support because it changed my life. I completely changed direction, my career and what I was doing."
This change saw Rogers ultimately end up working for CDL Insight Consulting, the company which helped him through the redundancy process.
"I really do understand what people go through when they're made redundant and face that very stressful moment in their lives," he says. "The coach I worked with enabled me to understand where I came from, who I was, what really motivated me. She helped me determine where I saw myself going in the future which was particularly exciting."
Rogers is now CDL's Country Manager for New Zealand and Australia. The company specialises in change management and outplacement and supporting people made redundant.
Rogers says as well as coaches, who, like him have been through redundancy personally, CDL has a team of people from all types of career backgrounds including human resources management and psychologists.
He says Covid-19 has fast-tracked the need for businesses to make sure they are providing support to people when an organisation goes through change.
"I think it would be fair to say some manage and lead change very well and some don't and I think you will probably see those that don't do so well in the headlines more."
Doing right by your people makes sound commercial sense, Rogers says. "At the end of the day, an employer needs to be seen as an organisation that takes due care and social responsibility for its employees – and to be demonstrating to the wider marketplace they are an employer of choice."
CDL coaches and facilitators also work with businesses going through change – either in growth or downsizing – and Rogers says even for companies struggling with cash flow it's a good idea to have a conversation.
"It's really important for any organisation to make sure they build into any change plan an outplacement solution," he says. "And it's not just about the people who leave through restructuring. It's about making sure you have something in place to take care of the survivors of change.
Staff who will remain with the company are "watching, looking and listening" to observe how their employer serves those who are transitioning out, Rogers says. Working with coaches not only salvages the employer's relationship with the leavers, but the remaining people.
Rogers says it can take a while for a soon-to-be ex-employee to take advantage of the help and CDL aims to work quickly to build their confidence.
"Often the first thing we spend time doing is enabling them to move on as quickly as possible because I know how tough it is for people. I understand it is very traumatic and scary and a lot of people can spend the first hour with one of our coaches venting with a box of tissues on the table.
"They may not like what's been going on, pretty much like the experience I had," he says. "If people can be provided with support, then at the very least when they get to a new job they will be saying 'I didn't enjoy it, I didn't appreciate it, it was painful but I'm very, very thankful to that business for helping me'."
See link to listen to podcast: Ep 3. Caring For Employees In A Post-Covid New Zealand