Why should employers provide meaningful outplacement opportunities? by Helen Gisbourne, h2h Associate
In the modern workforce arena it is increasingly likely that you will experience redundancy and associated outplacement services at some point in your career. Although my own experience was driven by voluntary redundancy, it was still a tough and challenging time both professionally and personally and I remember being given a significant folder full of paper and templates and told to go and work my way through it!! How I wish I’d had a newleaf coach to support me at that time, but hey, redundancy was the best thing that could have happened to me, and I’ve never looked back.
For employers the question is – should you invest in people who are leaving our organisation? The answer is, overwhelmingly, “Yes you should” and here’s why.
As a business our values are the things are fundamental to our conduct and culture, they underpin our behaviours, our recruitment and performance management processes and they impact directly on productivity. In my experience as a consultant I’ve supported many organisations through consideration of their values and creation of a dynamic environment where they can become alive and transparent. Value statements often employ words such as “People, Quality, Development, Respect and Continuous Improvement” and if they are to be truly meaningful and authentic, then how we facilitate people through transition is paramount. If we can help people to leave our organisation with dignity and a sense of self-worth, then we are being true to the organisational values that we communicate to the world through our online presence, our business and our people management strategies.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
CSR is at the heart of strategic thinking in today’s business world. We are constantly considering our impact on the environment, human rights and sustainability. However, if you only consider the broader world issues then you may be missing an opportunity at a local level to engage more closely with the communities you serve. How you choose to support people leaving your business during times of restructure and downsizing sends a significant message to your key stakeholders. Redundancy has a major impact, not just on your workforce, but on their wider family, friends and the communities in which they live. Demonstrating that we are a “responsible employer” through outplacement support during times of change encourages us to take a person-centred approach.
Your reputation goes hand in hand with your values and CSR, it is key in both attracting and retaining your talent and how we treat exiting colleagues has a direct impact on our brand reputation. I’ve worked with people who have taken pay-cuts and made significant career choices to ensure they work in an organisation that is reputable as a good employer or have left behind other high-profile employers to work for an organisation that “does right” by its workforce. How we support people who are leaving our business affects others in our organisation and people make the link between how other people are treated and how “one day that could be me”.
Motivation, morale and productivity
In order to remain competitive and achieve your defined targets your business needs a motivated workforce, – we all know that if people are not engaged then productivity is adversely affected. Morale and motivation across the organisation will undoubtedly be damaged by a redundancy announcement. The remaining workforce can be left feeling vulnerable and output can be further impaired by the way you handle the redundancy process and how you treat departing employees. Of course, what we really don’t want is for this to per permeate through the business and reaching prospective talent, customers, partners and competitors. Offering a well-designed outplacement programme can help to mitigate the worst effects and reassure your remaining staff that the organisation will look after colleagues who have been made redundant.
So, in answer to the original question, yes, it is critical that an organisation provides meaningful outplacement opportunities for their employees. This is just as important as helping and guiding your people through your career and talent management programmes. Organisations typically invest millions of pounds in their vision, mission, values, strategy, machinery, IT, recruitment and so many other business-related policies and infrastructure and yet it is easy to overlook a glaringly obvious opportunity to do the right thing as a business.
At h2h, we pride ourselves on offering flexible packages to support employees at all levels affected by restructuring. We deliver tangible results, enabling your people to find new work in a reasonable time scale and help to minimise disruption in your business. We have over 15 years’ experience in the marketplace and statistics show that 92% of our clients find a new role within 3 months of contact with us.
Our simple guiding 4 Phase Framework underpins our whole programme and we offer empathetic and pragmatic advice to assist your employees as they leave your business. Our network of experts are ready to support you in achieving your organisational goals and to help your exiting colleagues to carve out an exciting and fulfilling future.
For further information and an informal chat please contact us on 01347 879056 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org