Just imagine it, you’ve been called into a meeting with your boss, and they tell you that while you are a valued employee, you are no longer needed. Maybe you suspected it was coming, or perhaps it has caught you completely by surprise.
A lump in your throat forms. You think back to earlier in the morning as you were leaving your house blissfully unaware of what you would walk into. You want to go back there. The explanation your employer continues to give is muffled under the piercing thoughts that are now firing through your mind.
What am I going to do now? How will we afford the house? How am I going to provide for my family? What are my family going to think of me? Does everyone in the office know? Was I not good enough? Who am I if I don’t work here? And the questions just keep coming.
You feel nauseous, your heart beats faster, and you can feel the lactic acid coursing through your body. You’re overwhelmed, angry, upset, confused, rejected, in fact so many emotions are running through you trying to pick one to focus on is just too hard. The last question settles in “Now what?”
Welcome to the reality of your transitioning employee. Vulnerable, confused and emotional, the actions you take next as an employer can drastically impact on the wellbeing of your transitioning employee and the reputation of your company. So what do you need to do as an employer to help your employee re-establish their career?
Organise a support person
Have someone available for them to talk to after your conversation – but not someone from your workplace, someone completely neutral. Keep in mind that among the many emotions they are experiencing embarrassment will be one of the first to settle in. Be sensitive to their needs and feelings. This is where you may involve your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider.
A career coach who is experienced in dealing with transitioning employees is also a great resource; they will be able to help your employee manage their reaction and have the mind shift they need to see this not as a career ending but a career beginning.
Be prepared to answer questions later
It’s not uncommon for impacted employees to be in a rush to get out of the meeting. In shock, they are often lost in their thoughts and aren’t in a position to listen to your explanation or ask critical questions.
For this reason, make yourself available to have further conversations at a later time. The more open, honest and approachable you can be to them during their transitioning period the better it is for both of you.
Offer outplacement services
It’s very hard for an impacted employee to stay angry at an employer when the employer is doing everything possible for them to succeed in their career.
Outplacement not only gives your transitioning employees the tools, skills and career coaching they need to have an edge in the job market, it also shows you care about their future.
It should come as no surprise that self-esteem can take a beating during redundancy and career transition so any opportunity to show that you do value them as an employee and more importantly human being, the quicker their confidence and value can be restored.
Are you giving your transitioning employees what they need? Is it time to review your approach to career transition and outplacement? Call the transition experts, Turning Point Partners today on 1300 27 83 45.
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