No one likes making people redundant or being made redundant themselves. But like death and taxes, it’s inevitably going to affect your world at some point, and with Brexit thrown into the mix, potential redundancies could be a thorny issue you’re facing right now.
The decision to make any significant change in a business is a difficult one. But when change involves downsizing, cutting costs and redundancy, it can massively impact staff morale.
As a result, I can’t stress enough how essential it is that you have a robust outplacement strategy in place as a vital component of the redundancy process. It’s important for your business’s brand to demonstrate great corporate social responsibility, as it’s no longer acceptable to adopt an ‘out the door, say no more’ approach when it comes to saying goodbye to valued employees. Good outplacement is crucial to the success of exiting employees. It lessens the likelihood of there being any bad blood left between you – and therefore the chance of them damaging your brand by saying bad things about your business in public. And you never know what may happen in the future. The term ‘boomerang employees’ or ‘comeback kids’ relate to those who left on good terms and returned on even better terms.
Good outplacement shouldn’t just provide practical support for those affected, but should ideally also offer emotional support, and services such as CV and LinkedIn profile writing, career coaching and interview training.
Why outplacement services are not a ‘luxury’.
Whether you’re looking at losing one employee or a whole team to cut costs, it can be easy to think that paying for outplacement is just another unnecessary expense.
Some of the most-used excuses I’ve heard over the years not to provide outplacement services have included: “But they’re perfectly capable of finding another job by themselves!” “Outplacement coaches have no idea about our industry” and “We don’t want anyone outside of the company to know we’re making redundancies – it’ll harm our reputation.”
Well, let me debunk these claims.
Here are five reasons why your business needs an outplacement strategy:
Because it’s the right thing to do.
The fundamental reason for offering outplacement services is that it’s the best thing to do for your staff. Job security and the fear of redundancy is firmly in the top ten stresses of modern life in Britain. And, although businesses are often faced with the decision to downsize, many are poorly prepared.
Outplacement services may be as simple as hiring an expert to help your employees write a CV. Or, it can be as comprehensive as full career coaching services. Outplacement offers support to staff in a time of crisis and is morally the right thing to do.
Employees will see the company in a more positive light.
There is no doubt that the announcement of a redundancy programme will be enough to cause unrest amongst your workforce. It’s likely that the business will experience backlash and a period of resentment, especially in a time when reputations live and die on social media.
Offering outplacement services will go a long way to boosting the company’s public image.
Outplacement services will be a plus point for the business should a disgruntled employee bring a case to an employment tribunal. If the company has done everything it can to support its employees, these cases are less likely to end up in court.
Employees will remain engaged during the transition.
When redundancies are announced, panic sets in. Some staff will choose to part ways with the business very quickly, whereas others will not be so comfortable in approaching the job market. Almost all, however, will no longer be as engaged and committed to their jobs as they were before the announcement.
Dedicating time and resource to support employees who are facing redundancy can make a huge difference to productivity in challenging times.
Protection for your senior team.
As I’ve mentioned, it’s natural that emotions can run high when jobs are at stake. Senior teams and ‘people at the top’ are often targeted by resentful employees. Using an external outplacement provider offers a service outside of the company where staff are calmly and professionally guided through the redundancy process. It often eases anger and helps employees to move forward.
Often, companies cutting costs and losing staff need help. The insight and experience of professionals from outside of your industry can often provide a level of support that you simply couldn’t give internally.
So, there you have it. Regardless of why your business is having to make a tough decision regarding redundancies, at the very least, by implementing an outplacement strategy, be rest assured you don’t need to go through these challenges alone.