Facing major change at work is never easy for staff and dealing with redundancy is the most difficult change of all.
So, when Usdaw Mobile ULR Nick Atton got a call to say that the Middlewich Tesco store was going to close, he knew that people there would need all the support he could offer.
We only had just over a fortnight before the store closed, so when Paul Thomas, the Area Officer and I visited the store we got started straight away. We set up in the canteen and had use of a private room if colleagues wanted to discuss individual information in private.
The day was one of very mixed emotions for the staff as they were in shock at the store closure.
The staff were given three options; take redundancy, look at Tesco jobs available within the region or transfer to the new store under very different terms and conditions. Over the following seven days all staff would have individual meetings with the store manager and people partners to discuss their redundancy offer.
Over the following two weeks I was in store to meet with staff, managers and people partners to offer Usdaw support to colleagues who wanted to discuss their individual options. The Usdaw staff membership list was used to update information on staff and their chosen options.
46 staff chose to take the redundancy package offered. Paul gave them information on both redundancy and money matters and signposted them to various services if they were required. 30 people applied for vacancies within Tesco and Paul helped them with the application form when necessary. He also arranged for staff to be released from shift to attend formal interviews.
5 staff made requests to move to the new format. The new format shifts and job descriptions were posted within the canteen with the new contracted hours which were between 17.25 and 23 hours. Paul also worked closely with the store’s People Partner Debbie Kitchen to provide help and advice to over 40 people who needed assistance with updating or producing CV's.
Reflecting Paul said:
It was a very stressful project, but in the end we were quite successful. I feel that all staff were given the advice they needed and were able to make the decisions that were best for them. Once they were clear on what they wanted, we were able to do our best to support their requirements.