Helen & Douglas House

Tailored outplacement support for more than 40 employees during a restructure.

What is Helen & Douglas House?

Established in Oxfordshire in 1982, Helen & Douglas House is a hospice that provides care to terminally ill children and young adults.

The brief

The organisation took the tough decision to close Douglas House, which opened in 2004 to care for terminally ill young adults aged 16 to 35. This restructure impacted approximately a third of the organisation’s people – with those affected including executive team members and line managers plus many clinical and non-clinical employees.

Why Connor?

With a five-month period between communication of the restructure and the closure, Helen & Douglas wanted to support employees during this period of uncertainty and chose to do this through an outplacement programme. Charlotte Michel, learning & development officer at the hospice explains. “Showing we care is one of our core values and outplacement from an expert provider is a way of doing this.”

The approach

Connor delivered a number of outplacement workshops less than one month after the restructure was announced to employees. This was coupled with a choice of follow up support from one to one advice from Connor consultants to the online Connor career centre.

What we did for Helen & Douglas House

  • Four half-day outplacement workshops – giving over 40 employees CV and LinkedIn advice; tips for proactive and reactive job hunting; plus interview and negotiation advice
  • Follow up, one to one support from a pool of Connor outplacement consultants. Support included helping employees to prepare for interviews for specific job opportunities
  • A comprehensive outplacement manual, packed with useful tools and insights, as well as competency-based interview questions, proven salary negotiation tactics and psychometric profiling tools
  • Access to the online Connor career centre for the duration of each individual’s search.

The benefits and outcomes for Helen & Douglas House

  • Workshops empowered employees by presenting the restructure as an exciting opportunity to do something new
  • The first workshop created a buzz among employees and stimulated increased attendance at the subsequent ones
  • A number of employees engaged with the follow up support immediately after attending a workshop.
  • People who already had specific opportunities used telephone support with Connor outplacement consultants to help them with applications and interviews with potential new employers
  • Others logged on to the Connor Career Centre and engaged with tools such as psychometric profiling, which helps them to understand their preferences and how they come across to others during any recruitment process

“We deliver a range of training to our people.” explains John Hawkins, another member of the learning and development team at Helen & Douglas House.

“We rarely get detailed feedback from people who attend these courses. But after the outplacement workshops we got lengthy emails from our people saying how good they were. When any organisation goes through this type of change you are looking for these glimmers of light. It was a massive boost to everyone.”

What Helen & Douglas House said

“When it comes to redundancy there isn’t much you can do to make things right. So, if you are an organisation facing change you should consider outplacement.”

“Allowing your leavers to access an outplacement service helps them to be as prepared as they can be when they go. It demonstrates that you care and helps to preserve your reputation in the long-term.”Charlotte Michel, learning & development officer, Helen & Douglas House

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