Seeking suggestions on post redundancy wellbeing survey!

Hi all, 

We went through redundancy and lay offs a few months ago.

All the staff who were made redundant have left but the moral have been low and a lot of our remaining staff seem withdrawn.

It's clear staff are uncertain about their future and don't trust SLT anymore. 

We want to conduct a survey to understand how people are feeling and what kind of support can be provided to build trust and transparency.  

Any suggestions on questions to ask without sounding patronising?

Thank you, 


  • Are there no SLT/managers etc., etc., who have a good enough relationship with their/other staff to simply have a chat about what they are feeling?
  • In reply to David Perry:

    Thanks for replying.
    We organised two sessions which we called 'courageous conversations' for SLT and the staff to discuss. The sessions were organised to get a sense of where everyone's at. We'd hoped the staff will engage and be honest with their feelings but that didn't happen. Most of the staff did not attend and those who attended didn't say much.
  • In reply to Oredola:

    Hi Oredola

    If it’s apparent that your SLT is no longer trusted, it’s important to discover why. Past experience amidst countless redundancy situations leads me to the belief that people affected will indeed at first tend to demonise those involved in implementing the process and to try and ‘shoot the messenger’. But a good degree of trust can be regained over time if they begin to pick up sincerity and empathy and genuine commitment and concern to make the best of a very bad situation. If this hasn’t happened, then would start by reviewing everything that did happen amongst the SLT to look for possible reasons why. Then try to investigate further with the ‘survivor’ staff, eg with candid interviews or even very transparently anonymous questionnaires.

    The very act of doing all this, provided you do it right, can help rebuild that trust.

    Secondly, maybe have a hard look at possible activities nothing whatsoever to do with the past trauma but which will be enjoyable for all and promote social cohesion between all levels of staff. They may come at significant cost but done right it might prove a very sound investment
  • In reply to Oredola:

    This sounds like the staff do not trust their SLT enough to be honest.

    Probably too late now, but I've facilitated similar sessions in one company - I was asked to do this because a) I was known to most/all of the individual managers who attended, and b) at the time I was not a senior manager.
  • I have very little patience for or faith in "engagement" surveys. They amplify the voices of the least content and overlook the simple fact that, for most people, employment is a simple exchange of time for money. There are much more effective measures to achieve more reliable information.

    First, start with the objective data. The three key metrics for engagement are (in this order):

    1. Sickness absence rates (especially if you have Occupational Sick Pay).
    2. Holiday usage rates.
    3. Turnover rates.

    If you have higher than normal sickness absence, that is a key warning sign. The effect can be diluted if you only pay SSP, as some staff will work rather than risk losing money, but if you have good comparator data, it is still the best canary for a disengaged workforce.

    If your staff routinely fail to take their contractual holiday entitlement, or if holiday tends to be taken in a rush at the end of the holiday year, then you may have a problem because staff don't feel supported by managers and colleagues and are disincentivised from taking time to refresh and relax.

    And, of course, if your staff turnover rate is going up that's the last sign - although it is also the sign most easily affected by outside pressures such as competitors and the economy; plus, if you notice this is a problem before anything else, then you're very late. If sickness absence is the canary, this is the B in the BOOM.

    So, first, look at these figures to see if there are signs that there is an issue that is reflected in objective staff behaviours.

    Second, assuming that you have noticed a problem, you are better off creating a continuous, normal dialogue with staff through something like an Employee Forum or Staff Council than running a one-off engagement survey. By normalising the process and context for staff feedback, you build a dialogue that staff become accustomed to and so the feedback becomes natural and continuous and - also - two-way. In a forum, managers can actually discuss the issues and table suggestions, or hear the suggestions of staff and explore them creatively, whereas in a survey it's very much single-way traffic.

    The only real objective value of an engagement survey is to see what proportion of staff respond. If you make it a three-line whip and still can't get more than 60% responses, you have a problem.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    29 May, 2024 10:26


    Really interesting discussion so thanks for sharing this with our Community.

    As others have said, trust on the SLT seems badly damaged. Has the SLT reflected on how they managed the redundancy process themselves? I agree with  about the value of using an engagement survey at this point... but are there lessons to be learned for the senior leadership? 

  • In reply to David:

    Thanks David!
  • In reply to Robey:

    Thanks Robey!
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Thanks Steve- SLT have had time to reflect on the redundancy process. Key take aways are the communication to the team regarding financial situation could have been handled differently and how some managers handled comms to their team members who were made redundant. We are now focusing on a building trust within the team and subsequently transparency about finances.