3 red-light "warning signs" your role may be getting ready for the chop.

Yesterday I was involved in a car accident where an out of control driver hit my car, drove into a power pole. Change can happen out of the blue and I never saw it coming. How could I? I felt shaken, then annoyed, then thankful that it wasn’t worse.


For 1/3 of Kiwis redundancy comes as a complete surprise. However often, unlike my random car accident, there are signs that we can be aware of. It is called redundancy awareness, a term I had never heard of.


Whether you are a manager, employee or leading an organisation it makes sense to stay awake at the wheel. An OECD report estimated 29,000 roles are made redundant each year in New Zealand.


So here are a few things to keep the radar on for:


1/ Listen to your gut

We are paid based on the size of the problems we can help solve. If you are sitting at your desk and wondering “what value does my role add” – it is likely that you are at risk. And your gut will likely tell you that something is up. If this is you, reassess what value you can bring to the company. Consider if there are any areas you can investigate that may fit your skill set. Show initiative and keep moving.


2/ Keep track of what’s happening outside the organisation

I recently posted about a robotic apple picker in Hawkes Bay that can pick 1 apple a second. It harvests in a day what 7-10 people can pick by hand.  The future for apple pickers is obviously out on a limb (pardon the pun).


In more complex, service lead roles it may be new technology, regulations, economic forces or changes in competition that lead to roles being at risk.


Read the papers. Watch the news. Read relevant industry blogs. Go to targeted professional events. Buddy up and speak to people in your industry that are forward thinkers and positive.


3/ Keep an eye on the money

The world, particularly the business world, can often revolve around money.  While you may not have access to the high-level books, keep as much of an eye out on the financial situation of your organisation as you can. Keep track of annual reports. Maybe there has been a hiring or spending freeze.


However, lets balance all this “redundancy awareness” out with a sense of calm. Living in constant fear of being given the “don’t come Monday” will mean you won’t enjoy or be the best in your role. Instead focus on doing the role to the absolute best of your ability. Be in the 20% that will survive the redundancy round because you are the person, they want to keep rather than lose. Keep growing and building connections. Be so good “they don’t want to lose you”.

If you are preparing for possible redundancy or about to lead restructure, and want to take care of your team - reach out by emailing me grant@sparked.co.nz.. Or don’t wait, get on to it before there is even a chance.

My focus is to take the– it may end up be a doorway to a new role that you would enjoy even more!


grant verhoeven