There’s never a good time to sack hundreds of staff members. But for sheer undercutting of one’s own corporate messaging, Suncorp’s timing takes the cake.
The insurer’s pandemic shake-up, first flagged in July, had by Thursday last week come down to one-on-one meetings with staff who had been targeted for potential redundancies and thus forced to compete against colleagues for the positions that’ll remain once 550 others are cut.
All the while, the company intranet promoted R U OK day, the mental health initiative that prompts people to check in on the mental health of colleagues, friends and family members.
Surely the HR officers who accompanied the management as they delivered the grim news didn’t bother to ask the question. Suncorp’s Melbourne employees are in the middle of the nominally free world’s strictest lockdown. And if they were stoically managing, the news that some of them will soon have to look for work cannot have helped matters!
This year’s R U OK theme was about how “there’s more to say after R U OK”. But we’re sure a redundancy discussion wasn’t the suicide prevention charity’s preferred follow-up.
Hey, at least Suncorp isn’t one of R U OK’s major partners. That honour goes to competitor QBE, which in recent years has lost two CEOs to HR scandals. There’s plenty of insensitive behaviour (at best) to go around.
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