Are you handling outplacement the right way?

There is a big challenge with outplacement services, and that is that for many organisations, it is quite often seen as a grudge purchase. And we’re not being unkind here.

With the wellbeing, performance and success of a transitioning employee no longer a direct impact on you or your bottom line, it can be easy not to show the level of care, support and proactivity that exiting employees need from you as they experience redundancy.

During our time in the industry, we have seen many companies handle outplacement right. But we’ve seen even more handle it wrong and the consequences that result for both employer and employee in this scenario.

Are you handling your outplacement the right way? Let’s take a look – and see how you fare.

Offering outplacement but not including any information

Why this rarely works: If outplacement is only mentioned in the separation conversation, employees may not hear you or doubt the sincerity of your offer when no details or follow up are provided.

While you are busy rattling off all of the reasons and details of a transitioning employees redundancy, they will be in shock and have loads of questions running through their mind. Understand that they may not be listening well and will likely miss much of the information you share. That is why a passing remark like “let us know if you want outplacement” just doesn’t cut it.

It is crucial that you have follow-up conversations with transitioning employees and provide further information in a pack or email that clearly outlines the next steps, what to expect, and what outplacement support they have available.

Offering outplacement but not passing on contact details to your outplacement provider

Why this rarely works: You depend on your transitioning employee to be proactive during a highly emotional time when they may not be thinking logically.

The whole purpose of having an outplacement provider is to make the transitioning process easier for the employee and employer. Ideally, your outplacement provider should be there ready to have a conversation with your transitioning employee immediately after the separation conversation, but if not, your provider should have the contact details to follow up by phone and email soon after.

Passing on your transitioning employee’s contact details means your outplacement provider can provide them with the help and support they need immediately – not further down the track when they are desperate because they are struggling in the job market, dealing with a string of rejections and even worried about how they are going to provide for their family.

Offering outplacement on a case-by-case basis

Why this rarely works: You are making an assumption – that is frequently incorrect – on who needs outplacement and who doesn’t.

The truth is you have no idea how the job search process will go for any one individual and how much help or support they will need. While some employees may transition quickly and easily, many more will face a lengthy job search with a series of rejections. They’ll make plenty of job hunting mistakes along the way and most, if not all of this, can be avoided.

Who do you think they will be blaming and resenting through this process if they receive little to no support? You, and you better believe they will be telling people about it too. Needing help through the job search process doesn’t come down to seniority, job title or event length of time with your company. If you offer it to one, you should offer it to all.

Outplacement is designed to help employees make a smoother transition into the next phase of their career and protect your reputation and employment brand as an employer. For this reason, it is crucial that you not only offer it to your employees, but you approach it the right way to have the best outcome for all.

How did your organisation compare?

For practical, realistic advice and to make sure that you and your organisation quickly recovers and can get back to business – talk to the career transition experts at Turning Point Partners today – 1300 278 345 or email friendlyteam@turningpointpartners.com.au.

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