askST Jobs: How to flourish after you’ve been redeployed

Home Programs Principal Coaches NeXT Media Giving Back
askST Jobs: How to flourish after you’ve been redeployed

Tay Hong Yi
FEB 20, 2023, 2:11 PM SGT

SINGAPORE – In this series, manpower reporter Tay Hong Yi offers practical answers to candid questions on navigating workplace challenges and getting ahead in your career.

Q: I am being redeployed to a new role I did not ask for. What are my next steps?

A: Organisations may decide to redeploy employees to a new role to keep up with new operational needs, said Mr Rahul Chawla, South-east Asia head of human capital solutions at professional services firm Aon.

“As organisational structures evolve, new opportunities are created that may require specific skill sets while other roles are disrupted and made redundant,” he said.

An organisation may choose to fill in the new roles with employees who would otherwise be laid off, he said, noting that the benefits of an internal search include faster onboarding, cultural assimilation and business continuity.

But Mr Chawla pointed out that a surprise move is a worse way of going about the redeployment, and could result in staff disengagement and attrition.

“Having a candid discussion in advance with the concerned employees will not only ensure that the employees feel heard but are also psychologically prepared for the role.”

Mr Chawla said the first step a redeployed employee could take is to honestly consider his feelings about the new role.

“Consider whether this is a role that you’re excited about, ambivalent or dreading, or even a combination of all three.

“While there isn’t a right or wrong answer, understanding your frame of mind will support the transition.”

The next questions employees have to consider are how ready they feel for the role and whether they are comfortable with the amount of information they currently have of the new role, or if they need more.

“Assuming there is psychological safety in the organisation and trust in the process, employees can reach out to key stakeholders and individuals such as the HR department, their new manager or even new team members,” he added.

Mr Paul Heng, managing director of NeXT Career Consulting Group, said: “The first thing employees have to do is to understand what is the objective of the role.

“Next, identify the top three to four skills that are required for them to succeed in the role, and the third thing is to agree on key performance indicators with their boss – ideally with a defined timeframe, like the first three months.”

It would be wise for the employee to identify any skills gap and proactively seek avenues to close that, he added.

Employers should also ensure employees are set up to succeed with sufficient training, as well as opportunities to build new relationships with their new manager or team members, said Mr Chawla.

This would allay the fears of employees who are anxious or doubting their competence.

Redeployed employees who do not feel they are up for their new role should give clear reasons to their new boss or HR department, said Mr Heng.

While employers have the prerogative to insist on changes arising from business needs, employees also have the right to reject the move.

Those who gamely took on the redeployment but later feel they cannot succeed in the new role, or do not enjoy it, should also reach out with clear, specific reasons, he said.

“If the reasons are acceptable, efforts could be taken to redesign the job, within the confines of the business needs. If this is not possible or fails subsequently, efforts must be taken to identify another potential role. If this fails, then the employee needs to be managed and appropriate support given, such as the support of an outplacement coach.”

 Print Version 
© Copyright 2011. NeXT Career Consulting Group, Asia. All Rights Reserved