(UPDATED 2020) You’re a HR manager for an Australian organisation. You’ve returned to your desk following a meeting during which the management team identified that staff numbers need to be reduced. You’ve been delegated the role of organising the staff downsizing program. Nobody’s favourite job.
So where do you start?
As well as the industrial relations and legal considerations, you need to organise the paperwork for each person being terminated and implement the communication and consultation processes with line management.
And then there is outplacement! Outplacement services are vital for not only the exiting employee, but for preserving a positive workplace culture for those still employed.
How to introduce outplacement in the next management meeting
Outplacement isn’t always easy to introduce to senior management. Across Australia, we have dozens of professional outplacement consultants and the one thing we hear, over and over, is that management are in “cost-cutting” mode and outplacement services sound suspiciously like a cost.
Actually, it’s an investment. Quality outplacement services (and quality is key) not only benefit the exiting employee but can also protect the business from:
- Survivor Syndrome – Damage to the workplace culture as surviving employees deal with guilt and insecurity
- Mental Health Issues – This is an emotional time for the exiting employee(s). By providing them with the means to see the “next steps” you are helping them to transition away from their negative emotions. Which in turn slows any “viral” negative emotions amongst their former colleagues.
- Legal De-Escalation. In some cases, an exiting employee will turn to the law in an attempt to fight their redundancy. By providing outplacement services, you’re helping your former worker to heal. You’re demonstrating that you genuinely care about your exiting employees and that downsizing is an unfortunate necessity.
- Peace of mind for you, the HR Manager. While it’s a good feeling to give a wonderful candidate a perfect opportunity, in the 2020s, all projections show there’s going to be some tough times ahead. No HR Manager revels in downsizing. Nobody likes to head off to work knowing the day will likely mean tears and anger from colleagues. As a HR Manager, delivering “that” news, but with a message of hope and support can change everything. And, help you feel better about your role in the company.
Are you needing help with outplacement services in Melbourne? Click here and contact us to see how we can help you!
The RIGHT provider is the key. How do you choose the right redundancy outplacement services?
Like most industries, there are great options and not so great options and for a HR Manager, navigating the choice can be nearly impossible. Here’s the best practices to follow when choosing a redundancy outplacement service to suit your business needs.
1. Tailors a solution for your business
A good outplacement provider will take the time to understand your budget, your timeframes and the needs of your departing employees. They will partner with you to create a solution for your business that will work.
2. Is an Australian outplacement services company
This ensures that they will use materials that are relevant to the labour market your exiting employees are entering into.
I’ve seen large organisations supply their clients with resume templates that include US zip codes. If they can’t be bothered to even tailor a resume template to the Australian context what else are they missing!?
3. Uses experienced and skilled career coaches
Career coaching is an unregulated industry. This means, unfortunately, that the quality of career coaches can vary widely. It’s not uncommon to come across outplacement coaches who have never hired a person in their lives!
Undertaking a short course in career management does not equip them to guide your employees in the right direction at a time when they’re at their most vulnerable.
All our coaches at Let’s Talk Career come from significant and senior corporate HR and recruitment backgrounds.
- They’ve all sat the other side of the table, making hiring and selection decisions for organisations.
- They know how interviews work.
- They understand what reference checking involves and how psychometrics are used in organisations.
- They know how best to align an application to the recruiting organisations values and mission and so much more.
This real life practical experience is invaluable in assisting your exiting employees to get maximum value from the outplacement services that you’re providing for them.
Are you looking for career coaching in Melbourne? Click here to see how we can help you unlock your full potential!
4. Is not affiliated with, or owned by, a recruitment agency
I often have HR Managers ask me if this is important. The answer is: absolutely!
While many recruiters have started doing outplacement in response to their inability to maintain viable as recruiters, it is not the same thing. Outplacement is so much more than showing a client how to update their resume! The psychology of job search, and the emotional wellbeing of employees who have recently been made redundant is too important for you to place them with people who only know how to sell their own services, write a job ad and conduct interviews and reference checks!
We see it as comparable to the person who goes to the dentist to get braces, rather than an orthodontist. They both say they can fix the problem, but in reality only one is skilled across all the areas needed to actually do so.
5. Builds a long-term relationship with you and your team
We take pride in our relationships with the HR teams of our clients. We love it when they ring us to ‘talk through an idea/concern/problem’. As experienced HR professionals (by trade) we:
- can share our insights about outplacement and change management best practice, plus our experiences of what worked and didn’t work for us when we worked in HR and downsized.
- understand the legal and ER implications because we’ve been there ourselves in our past lives.
Let’s Talk Career also offers coaching for line managers and less experienced HR managers who are involved with redundancies. We cover everything from provision scripts, to private one-on-one coaching sessions.
6.Geniunely Cares for Your Exiting People and their Mental Health
There is a fine line between maintaining client confidentiality and sharing updates with the employer because many staff want to know that their sessions with us are a private and safe space. However we will let you know if they are attending sessions the (if you request). We often work directly with your Company’s other support services including Employee Assistance Programs, Chaplaincy etc where we feel an employee needs additional support to ensure that individuals have all they need to ‘get back on their feet’.
As an organisation you are investing a significant amount of money in outplacement support, so make sure you are receiving valuable services.
Need a confidential discussion about your outplacement options?
We’re here to help. Whether you need to book an outplacement session or need to report on outplacement options to senior management, our team is here to discuss your needs. Our head office is in Melbourne but we have experienced outplacement consultants across Australia. Simply get in touch.