Corporate restructuring and layoffs are common and there are many reasons why businesses need to reorganize. Technological advances, changing consumer needs, driving efficiencies and economic factors are some of the reasons for corporate change which may result in job loss. Generally speaking, these layoffs are due to circumstance rather than performance.
Some companies choose to offer outplacement services while others, surprisingly do not offer any type of outplacement support. Outplacement services provide an enormous benefit to exiting employees. They also offer tremendous benefits to businesses. The case for offering outplacement services is strong, and there are numerous outplacement benefits. Let’s explore four of them.
Top talent is tough to attract and difficult to keep. The last thing a company wants is a reputation as a ‘bad’ employer. Social media is pervasive, offering a voice to anyone who chooses to engage. Disgruntled former employees will have the opportunity to rate their experience with your company on platforms like www.glassdoor.com, a site commonly accessed by candidates as they are making decisions about prospective employers. Your exiting employees can take to any channel on social media to air grievances. Hurt and angry former employees taking to social media may not only hurt a business’ employer brand but their customer or client brand as well. Companies who provide services and products are wise to remember their employees may also be customers and ambassadors of their brand.
Offering outplacement services will help your employees feel supported as they exit. Immediately engaging in a program to help them enhance their skills and find meaningful work quickly will mean they are more likely to move forward in their careers rather than dwell. Better yet, if the outplacement support offers them an opportunity to find another great job, negative feelings will have a much better chance of dissipating, and perhaps even transforming into an appreciation for a former employer who provided them with the opportunity to fulfill their career potential.
There is a tendency for exiting employees, particularly disgruntled employees, to reach out to their former HR and legal departments. Some former employees will threaten litigation. While there is little chance companies who’ve followed the law are at risk of a lawsuit, simply responding to these types of messages and the requirement to engage with the legal representatives of exiting employees is time-consuming and costly.
When a business restructures, it’s important that HR and legal teams remain focused on the future of the business and not distracted by former employees who may be struggling to move on. Providing outplacement support, particularly support that normalizes the experience of being restructured, will provide the people whose roles have been eliminated the opportunity to understand that the experience of being restructured is not personal. In fact, it’s perfectly normal. A quality outplacement program will also keep participants busy with the work of finding a new job and building their career.
Communities and economies thrive when employment rates are low. There is incentive for businesses to promote a strong economy because most businesses depend on a healthy financial ecosystem to survive and grow. When unemployment is high, people spend less and their debt may increase. Unemployment will cause a ripple effect on businesses as consumers tighten their purse strings and look to cut costs.
Well designed outplacement services will help program users find meaningful work quickly, which will improve the financial impact of job loss. Improving financial outcomes will prevent people from falling into dept, making them less likely to stop spending and cut costs.
Companies who are restructuring have a choice. Providing outplacement support is not a requirement, and the companies who provide it should be commended. Many of the employees who are being laid off will have given up other opportunities, they will have given up personal time and put their expertise, heart and soul into a business. When companies lay off team members it’s important to remember their job may be more to them than a paycheque, it may form a large part of their identity. Job loss can be soul destroying, and while it’s said that ‘business is business,’ the sentiment can mean little to someone who’s just lost their job, along with the validation and the community that comes with it.
Good outplacement services will support clients by offering career counselling, resume and job search advice, great outplacement services will offer this AND support the wellbeing of their clients. They will offer the encouragement and support people need to resolve their emotional response to job loss and the emotional roller-coaster of a job search.