Editorial: M&S dogged by redundancy law

Insider reports emerged this week that staff morale at Marks and Spencer’s Baker Street HQ is at rock bottom following the announcement of pending job cuts, a situation that highlights one of the main pitfalls of UK legislation regarding redundancies.

Insider reports emerged this week that staff morale at Marks and

Spencer’s Baker Street HQ is at rock bottom following the announcement

of pending job cuts, a situation that highlights one of the main

pitfalls of UK legislation regarding redundancies.



Employees at M&S have been told that 200 jobs are to go, but that staff

will have a further three months to ponder their potential redundancy

before individuals are named. The reason?The required 90-day

consultation process.



It requires a very cleverly managed internal communications strategy if

an organisation wishes to emerge from this process unscathed. The

prospect of redundancy, and even the consultation process, is never

going to be a pleasant one, but as M&S is keen to point out, by

involving staff in the decision-making there is always a chance that, at

best, other solutions can be found or, at worst, at least staff feel

their views are taken into account.



But if not handled well, the climate of uncertainty created during this

period can have long-term implications. The buy-in to brand values

achieved over years can suffer irretrievably, as personal interests take

precedence and customer service suffers.



This week’s Focus feature looks at the importance of getting staff to

live and breathe the values of the organisation they work for in order

to authenticate its positioning.



Next week, Marks and Spencer launches its new strategy with a

promotional drive of a scale unprecedented in its long history. If this

repositioning is to restore M&S’s lead position in the high street its

internal and external messages need to be aligned - and fast.



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