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Supporting Staff Through Restructuring: Podcast Highlights

Supporting Staff Through Restructuring: Podcast Highlights
The unique collection of economic challenges which face New Zealand are prompting many organisations to consider rationalisation and restructuring initiatives to remain viable. Working life is going to change for a significant number of employees, with large numbers of redundancies expected and an expectation that businesses will support outgoing staff as they look to transition into new roles.

To assess the medium-to-long-term likelihoods for businesses and individuals and offer advice on how best to navigate the growing uncertainty, OCG Career Transition and outplacement specialists, Greg McAllister, Amanda Hamilton and Chris Gilchrist got together for a remote discussion. Here are the key takeaways from their analysis.

Have you seen anything like the current crisis before?

  • Though the New Zealand economy has undergone radical restructuring at seemingly regular intervals since the mid-1980s, the potential magnitude of this crisis could eclipse the fallout of previous crises. The possibly crucial difference being that the government is significantly better prepared for handling and responding to the situation than it has been in the past.
  • The surprise factor of COVID-19 has in some ways mirrored the surprise experienced following the GFC in 2008. At that time, as now, analysing the exact impact was difficult. Another more important parallel between COVID-19 and the GFC is how people have pulled together to keep businesses and each other moving forward, bonding closer together, rather than drifting apart.

Could you tell us about some of the recent work of the Career Transition team?

  • Our Career Transition team have been supporting businesses across a variety of sectors including Government, Insurance, Energy, Banking and Manufacturing to assist employees in understanding and working through difficult changes. Many employees had been with their employer for a long period and as such didn’t have much of an understanding of the job search process. Our recent work has centred around building knowledge of the fundamentals of finding a new role and instilling confidence to pursue positive next steps.
  • The process involves working with individuals to develop a well thought out and structured job search programme. From this foundation, we have already seen some success..

What do OCG client’s value most about the Outplacement services we offer?

  • Deciding to make even one person in a business redundant is stressful and difficult in its own right. Through our services, employers can achieve peace of mind with the knowledge that they are playing an active part in helping those who are losing their jobs to get back on their feet and re-join the workforce.
  • Our clients benefit in the longer term too. As redundancy processes are often precipitated at least in part by external pressures, by engaging a dedicated external provider of career transition services, employers can maintain goodwill with the talent that leaves the organisation, and when economic conditions improve, those people can in many cases be re-engaged.

What advice would you give people who have recently lost their job unexpectedly?

  • It’s important to understand and recognise the negative emotional response you will feel as a result of this, it’s entirely human to feel the anger, guilt and frustration that comes with challenging circumstances.
  • Then set about getting some support, whether that is through formal means like a recruitment or outplacement specialist, or simply communicating in a constructive way with friends and family, or both. The desired outcome is to put some concrete steps in place to make progress and move forwards.

What changes will we start to see now we’re in Alert Level 1?

  • The expectation is that things will become a little clearer from an economic perspective. It is hoped that a continued reopening of society will lead to confidence from employers that they have sufficient knowledge to make longer-term decisions and begin to pursue strategies of growth, rather than crisis management and survival.
  • The next 2-3 months are going to be extremely important for New Zealand. As the wage subsidy is removed it will become easier to gauge the resilience of the market, providing us with a more realistic indicator of the future.


If you as an individual or as part of an organisation would like to learn more about any of the services provided by the Career Transition team, contact one of our outplacement specialists today.

Curious to learn a little more about any of the issues raised here? Make sure to watch the full podcast below, or feel free to email us at

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