While a time of redundancy can involve making tough choices, it can also be a time for HR to shine as a strong strategic partner to the business. HR leaders looking to provide the best possible support to management during the redundancy process should consider an outplacement programme.
Outplacement provides practical and emotional support to help those employees who are affected by redundancy, make the transition between knowing what their role is and the uncertainty of what the future holds for them personally. On-site support ranges from group workshops to online or telephone support, as well as bespoke packages for middle and senior managers. Outplacement can include support in drafting and editing CVs, interview skills and interview preparation, coaching, navigating online and modern job advertisements, speculative letters and completion of application forms.
1. Reinforce the “psychological contract”
Companies that have undertaken outplacement as part of their redundancy programme have found that it helps “lower the emotional temperature” of their organisation. By supporting the health and wellbeing of your exiting employees, you can demonstrate to them (and, perhaps just as importantly, those who remain) that you value them.
For those remaining, it can be reassuring to know that if they find themselves in the same or similar situation, they are likely receive the same support and consideration.
2. It’s flexible and cost effective
Outplacement is an incredibly flexible approach to assisting exiting employees. No matter the type, number, location or needs of the employees, or the organisational budget, the outplacement consultant should be able to tailor their approach to meet the needs of the individual and the organisation. Whether it’s senior managers needing bespoke coaching or a large group of long serving workers needing technology and modern job-hunting support, outplacement can work.
Even in a short period of time, an outplacement programme can deliver benefits to a large number of employees at a relatively low cost.
3. Avoid a productivity lapse
Times of change often result in poor productivity as remaining employees worry about the future. An outplacement programme can provide a demonstrable, structured place for addressing those worries so ‘work time’ can be remain productive.
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4. Become part of a settlement agreement
Some companies will use a bespoke outplacement programme to demonstrate how they are offering support over and above legal compliance during a period of re-organisation. As redundancy packages can be incredibly expensive propositions, anything to mitigate these costs is worthwhile.
5. Provides exiting employees with a safe environment to share concerns
Since outplacement is typically provided by an independent third-party, the associated workshops become a safe and supportive environment for exiting employees to voice their fears and concerns (with a strong and impartial leader to direct the conversation effectively).
After an outplacement programme or during a redundancy period, EEF will sometimes be asked to undertake employee engagement surveys to gauge opinion and red flags within the organisation during a difficult time.
EEF provides outplacement support through its consultants who have a wide range of experience in managing and supporting organisation change which includes outplacement support at all levels. Get in touch to discuss your outplacement or redundancy challenges with one of our experts.