You and your company have chosen to provide Outplacement services to one or more employees who are exiting the company. These separations may occur for any number of reasons. You may have redundancies due to M&A, perhaps technology has changed eliminating their positions or they may be laid off for a myriad of other reasons. Whatever the case may be, you have made the decision to provide career continuation services. How is the best way to work with your Outplacement provider to make sure you are providing a meaningful service to your exiting employees and making the most of your financial investment?
ENGAGE THE PROVIDER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Your Outplacement provider’s business is to help companies through this event. They have helped 100’s of companies navigate this process. Their experience can help with things like –
- crafting the message you will deliver to separating employees,
- training managers to deliver the message,
- sequencing separations for minimum interruption in the workplace,
- identifying potential security risks,
- assisting with gracefully exiting the premises and
- defining the specific program to be delivered to each separating employee.
Your Outplacement provider should be able to assist in all these steps of the process and should be willing to provide support to make sure you have an uneventful day.
HAVE OUTPLACEMENT REPRESENTATIVES ONSITE AT THE TIME OF NOTIFICATION
An Outplacement consultant is trained to handle the various emotional responses that may arise from a lay off notification. Whether it is extreme sadness with tears or extreme anger or anything between, the Outplacement consultant is trained to handle it with professionalism.
Employees are normally notified of their job elimination in one room and then moved to an adjoining room to meet with the Outplacement consultant. This gives the employee a point of contact and the assurance that there is a plan in place to move their career forward. Knowing that they are not alone in this process gives them hope in their future. It is reassuring to know there is someone immediately available who can commit to helping them find work with another company quickly and have the resources to help your employee transition well.
FACILITATE AN EASY CONNECTION TO YOUR EMPLOYEES
Some employees may not be emotionally ready to get much out of the initial meeting with the Outplacement consultant because they are in shock after learning of their position elimination. Providing the Outplacement provider with contact information for each impacted employee will insure that employees are contacted in a timely manner to make the decision to engage in the Outplacement program.
In many cases, employees don’t understand or appreciate the vast resources that the Outplacement firm possesses to help them land a new position more quickly than they otherwise could on their own. A light-touch phone call to explain why it is in their best interests to take advantage of this company-paid benefit may be all that it takes to change someone’s outlook from dark and dangerous to bright and hopeful.
EXPECT REPORTABLE METRICS
The Outplacement provider should be able to share updates about employee participation rates. They should be able to confirm how many employees have started and are engaged in the program, but also how many may have selected specialty programs beyond the traditional re-employment services: transition into retirement, the entrepreneurship route or returning to school, for example.
The Outplacement provider should be able to provide person-by-person feedback beyond the broader participation rates mentioned above.
Outplacement services today offer much more than traditional resume-writing support and interview role-plays: Building social media campaigns, especially surrounding LinkedIn, for example, will statistically garner much stronger job search results, depending on the type of work the employee does. Electronic tools that help match an individual’s resume to a particular job posting using word cloud technology can help a job applicant maximize the chances of getting selected for a particular interview. And as a job applicant, telling an interviewer that you took full advantage of your prior company’s outplacement services will help you stand out among your peers because it speaks to the caliber of the company you worked for and your wisdom in approaching your job search in such a healthy and mature way.
As a wise and caring employer that offers outplacement services to your displaced workers, making sure that your former employees benefit from this cost-effective benefit will not only help you maintain positive relations with them, but it will likewise go a long way in strengthening your relationship with your remaining employees who can move forward in a healthy way, knowing that your organization had to make tough business decisions but kept people’s needs at the forefront of their considerations.
Outplacement support provides a critical degree of relief in today’s volatile workplace as well as a return on investment that goes far beyond dollars and cents.
Contact me today to learn more about how Career Development Partners can assist you with Outplacement.
Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice