If you have never had to make multiple employees redundant at once, or thankfully, never been on the receiving end yourself, you may never have heard of Outplacement. However, it’s a common service, typically sought by businesses who are making an employee, or group of employees, redundant.
And, to be honest, Outplacement services don’t have the best reputation. In speaking to some of our clients, at best Outplacement services can be seen as something employers do to ‘tick a box’, to look like they are doing the right thing. At worst, they are viewed as ineffective and a waste of money. You see, traditionally most Outplacement services will help individuals navigate the job market, offer tips for presenting relevant skills and experience – and stop here.
But if, like us, you have stepped into the shoes of your employees for a second, you’ll see this Outplacement model really does stop short, for several reasons.
For starters, the idea that every business can be squeezed into a one-size-fits-all solution is completely ‘square peg, round hole’. No two workplaces are the same and if, like most modern businesses, your workplace is diverse in culture and in people, you will struggle to get positive results from a stock standard package.
Lack of flexibility is not what you or your employees need during times of distress. And, while we generally try to give scary stats a wide berth, researchers tell us that losing your job is right up there with death and divorce, in terms of stress.
Also, many Outplacement services are contracted only for the initial ‘shock’ period, are rarely measured in terms of success rate and generally don’t offer any professional support to you, your managers, or your remaining employees. This approach is, in our view, why such programs can (and do) fail to have an impact.
And the final issue we see with current Outplacement services is they promote short term thinking – never a good idea in business, as you well know. It’s vital to keep at least one eye on the big picture, particularly because something like the economy is cyclical. All being well, your business will bounce back and you may need to re-fill these positions in future.
Think about it this way. Would you rather have disgruntled ex-employees out there in the market, spreading negative comments, or ex- employees who tell others how well cared for they were? And, what about your remaining employees who have their perception shaped by how they see their colleagues being treated? This can often effect how hard they will work for you post-redundancy period.
In true HR Gurus style, we’re challenging the status quo when it comes to Outplacement. Because our experience tells us there has to be another way.
We want to introduce an integrated approach – a start-to-finish program, a new, smarter way for businesses to navigate major people changes. We believe that flexible services, designed with your people in mind, make sense. We think the new way to go should be to have a service that includes:
- Support in the lead up to and following the redundancy announcement, including drafting of communication strategies, writing individual redundancy letters, preparing scripts for managers, and providing general support and advice.
- Onsite attendance on the day of the announcement to provide support to managers and answer any last minute questions, a brief presentation to affected employees about services, and remaining on site for as long as is required.
- Individual sessions comprising of psychological support and/or careers counselling as required.
We will work hard to help you – if you are ready to try a different approach. Visit our contact us page and let’s talk about how our services can successfully lead your business through difficult times. Because at HR Gurus, we like to do things the easy way.