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Tips for redeploying people or reassigning someone


When people change positions in a company, it is usually a case of a promotion (in the best cases) or demotion (in the worst cases). These sorts of moves are merit based and generally come with a change in pay. Redeployment or reassignment is typically not merit based and the pay generally stays the same. In cases of redeployment or reassignment, employees stay at about the same level but change jobs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes an employee will request deployment or reassignment. This may be due to personal reasons like conflict with a boss, wanting to keep the same job but move to a new location, or becoming physically unable to perform job duties. However, most of the time deployment and reassignment are not at the employee's request. If you have to redeploy or reassign somebody, here are some tips for doing it right.

Be understanding--the difference between redeployment and reassignment is typically the difference between moving to a different office and not moving to a different office. As a manager, you should understand that there is more stress caused by a job change that requires a move. This works in such a way that the bigger the moves the bigger the stress associated with it is. Understand that when you redeploy an employee they are going to experience some anxiety. Even if the change is for the best for everybody, asking a person to move (even from one office to another) will influence their comfort level at the very least. Reassignment is generally not as stressful since the employee typically keeps their same job but changes their focus. When possible, use reassignment rather than redeployment.


Make an offer-often it is just as easy to offer a person redeployment or reassignment as it is to mandate it. If you are making a move that is for everybody's best interest, you might present it to the employee as a proposal. Instead of saying, "well Mac, as of Tuesday you will be redeployed to the northern district and you will be reporting to Jane." You might try saying, "well Mac, what would you think about making a lateral move over to the northern district? Jane really needs an extra set of hands over there, your commute would be a little shorted but the workload would be nearly the same." It is always a better option to allow people to make their own decisions rather than to make their decisions for them.

Explain the situation-sometimes you just can't give the person the option of making a choice. If you are going to have to make a redeployment or reassignment that might not sit that well with your employee, you should explain the situation in detail. Well in advance of the actual redeployment or reassignment, you should let the employee know what is going to happen and why. You should be able to outline the specific job description or describe the new location. Be prepared to answer questions and also be prepared for the employee to ask for a raise. If a raise is out of the question, you can preface your discussion by stating that fact. If the employee will be required to move, you should offer to pay for the relocation.

Be prepared for a defensive response-people don't like to be told what to do, or to feel like they are dispensible in their current position. Even if the move has nothing to do with personal issues be prepared for the employee to take the move personally. It would be great if all companies had human resources personnel trained to handle these situations. Many companies don't. If you are a business manager who has to deliver some unwelcome news about a redeployment or reassignment, prepare yourself for a defensive response. Don't argue with the employee, just reassure them that they are a valued member of the team and that you regret losing them in their current position.


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