By: Jill Thompson
Is offering outplacement to your departing employees still relevant in today’s marketplace? Perhaps some of you can recall that outplacement—often referred to as career transition services—established its roots in the post-WWII period to assist veterans in finding new careers. From then on, the industry continued to flourish and expanded into a market that is now available to professionals at all levels. And to answer the probing question of whether today’s companies should still be offering outplacement or not – the answer is a resounding YES. It’s also important to note that there are no parameters on when or why it should be offered to your departing employees. Here’s a look at a few conditions in which employee outplacement programs can be of tremendous use to an organization:
- Large, medium or small sized company – YES
- 1-person downsizing to a mass reduction in force – YES
- Poor performance or budget reasons – YES
- Entry level employee to C-Suite executive – YES
- Long tenured employee or recent hire – YES
Not only is offering outplacement support still current, but it’s the right thing to do for all levels of employees, company size or reason for leaving.
Those who are involved in the tough decisions that come with layoffs and workforce reductions know how stressful a notification can be on the departing employees, the managers and survivors. Overall, it’s a smart corporate strategy to provide outplacement services. A few reasons why:
- It’s the right thing to do. Being laid off from a job is a very overwhelming and stressful situation for the departing employee, and the longer someone was in a role, the more difficult the layoff can feel. There are many emotions involved in a job loss and working with a career transition coach helps people feel in control of an overwhelming situation. Individuals who receive the benefit from their past employer of working with a career coach, land in new roles quicker than if they were working alone.
- To sustain the morale of your “surviving” employees.Let’s face it, people talk – and other employees are judging the professionalism and dignity of how things are handled. By offering compassionate outplacement to ALL levels of employees in your company, you are setting the tone of your culture and showing your remaining employees the standard of care and compassion that they deserve.
- Maintain the organization’s reputation in the community and industry.Offering outplacement creates goodwill, which leads to a positive public image. When your organization displays good character, it reinforces their brand reputation and that goes a LONG way in the recruiting and retention department.
I am sure you can add to the list. For more information and advice on navigating the tricky situation of letting employees go, check out our layoff guidebook.