The Value of OutplacementPosted in : HR Updates on 16 November 2017
Redundancy is an unfortunate feature of modern working life. It’s now commonplace and something that increasing numbers of employees can expect to experience as businesses continually change and adapt. That said, the impact of redundancy on an individual remains significant, and is still considered a taboo subject that employees often choose to hide, rather than discuss.
Immediate concerns around financial security are a natural reaction for individuals affected by redundancy. Equally, however, people can be impacted by deeper emotional challenges surrounding self-perception, self-confidence and how others will perceive them, all of which can significantly impact on an individual’s ability to successfully move forward. People worry over their skills and future employability, and feelings of isolation are not uncommon as their status, community and sense of belonging are stripped away.
Many employers understand the personal impact of redundancy and proactively look to support their employees by making services such as ‘outplacement support’ available to them. They see it as part of their corporate social responsibility towards loyal employees; ensuring that the challenges that lie ahead are mitigated to a degree. They also understand that investing in this type of support also accrues additional organisational benefits
Enhances your employer brand
Every employer should be concerned about what their employees are saying about them, particularly those who leave as a result of redundancy. Sites such as Glassdoor are hugely influential in an organisation’s ability to attract future talent, and, given that prospective employees are concerned with how they will be treated by a future employer, any negative reviews from disgruntled employees who feel they have not been supported could be decisive.
A key measure to successful change is the impact on productivity. Demonstrating to others in the business that impacted colleagues are being supported can actually help to boost productivity and engagement, as fears about their futures, and how colleagues are being treated are allayed, allowing them to focus fully on their roles.
Protects the bottom line
Outplacement support to impacted employees enhances an organisation’s reputation and can have a positive impact on those who may be thinking of moving on. With good people in short supply, any unnecessary loss of talent and highly sought after skills will ultimately impact on an organisation’s performance and ability to service customers.
Encourages good corporate citizens
When employees feel that they are treated fairly and are being supported through redundancy, they are more likely to remain good corporate citizens during their final few weeks and months; supporting the transfer of projects or with customer handovers. Furthermore, and highly relevant for consumer brands, they are more likely to remain advocates and customers of your brand if they feel that the organisation has done everything in its power to make their exit a painless one and proactively helped them to find future employment.
Reduces instances of litigation
Providing meaningful outplacement support to redundant employees encourages them to look to the future and channel their emotions into positive actions, which left unaddressed, could pose a problem further down the line as individuals struggle to adapt to their new reality and look to apportion blame.
The right thing to do
Fundamentally, offering outplacement support to employees affected by redundancy is the right thing to do. Aside from the emotional and financial impact, the reality is that the employment market is changing at breakneck speed. Jobs are changing: skills that were considered niche 5 years ago are now mainstream, whilst others are becoming redundant. Add all this together and it is no wonder that redundancy remains one of the most stressful experiences an individual might have to deal with. Outplacement support helps individuals to successfully navigate these changes: supporting people to manage their emotions, identify their skills, understand how to plan their career moves and decreases the time it takes to find a new role.
Whatever support you offer; individual coaching, group workshops, online support or onsite resource centres, you can be sure that all the benefits described above will be realised.
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The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.