We are often asked by HR and change practitioners how they can best present a business case to senior management to encourage them to offer outplacement services to their transitioning employees.
Research has shown that the key business drivers for offering outplacement services are:
• a genuine concern for the welfare of the transitioning employee/s;
• ensuring remaining staff remain engaged and committed to the organisation;
• mitigating potential legal cases and employee relations disputes; and
• protecting the image and brand of the company.
Let’s look at each of these.
1. Genuine concern for the welfare of the transitioning employee/s
Research shows this is by far the most common reason for an organisation offering outplacement services to their exiting employees.
Being retrenched is a difficult time for affected individuals. In fact some psychologists rate it as one of the five most stressful life events. It is just after death of a loved one, divorce, serious illness and moving house. Redundancy needs to be handled in a sensitive manner.
Offering the employee an outplacement service is an effective way for a company to show its appreciation for their exiting employees past efforts and contribution, show genuine concern for their future, and ensure they have the support (post employment) to find other satisfying employment. Outplacement services, as a minimum, help individuals get back into satisfying paid employment sooner by counselling them on their job search approach and tactics.
2.Ensuring existing staff stay focused and increasing the engagement of the ‘surviving’ staff
Remember that even though there may be good business reasons for undertaking redundancies, the exiting employee/s will most likely have work friends staying within the company. They will likely feel resentful, angry and upset if their colleague/s are not treated well during their redundancy situation. They may also feel anxious that they could be ‘next in line’ for redundancy and therefore start looking for another job.
In times of redundancy, organisations require their remaining employees to be 110% productive. They often have to pick up the slack of the remaining work. It is not the time to disengage them and have them only half committed to the organisation’s goals. You need to send the message that if redundancy happens to them in the future, you will treat them well through that process. And they are watching the current round of redundancies to determine if that is likely to happen.
Providing outplacement services demonstrates your company’s commitment to treating your employees responsibly and caringly. It sends a message to the remaining employees, ‘if this happens to you here down the track’ we will provide you with the support to transition effectively elsewhere. This has a similar impact to the feeling of an insurance policy -i.e. I hope I won’t ever need it, but if I do, I know it is there and it will help me greatly.
3. Potential legal action
Assisting redundant employees to move forward by providing them with an outplacement program that will assist them find new work, and will greatly reduce the risk of potential legal action such as unfair dismissal cases. Outplacement services assist exiting employees move from focusing on the past (or present) to focusing their energies on a successful future. When they do this, they have less desire to pursue the company litigiously.
4. Protecting the brand and image of the company and being seen as an employer of choice
Word travels fast and if a retrenched employee is treated badly it will soon get around within your company and potentially wider industry. It can affect your employer brand and the potential to attract good candidates down the track when you are hiring again.
Let’s Talk Career provides outplacement services for both executive, white collar and blue collar employees throughout Australia. We tailor to the budget, situation and goals of the organisation and individual. If you would like our advice on what you should offer your transitioning or exiting employees, by way of an outplacement services, then give us a call and/or book an appointment today – 1800 284 255 or email us here – https://www.letstalkcareer.com/contact-us/. We have outplacement packages starting at 4 sessions. We work nationally across Australia and have career counsellors and executive coaches in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Far North Queensland.