The British Heart Foundation

Group Outplacement Project

Helping our client look after their people through an unprecedented time of change.

The brief

Driven by the impact of Covid-19, coupled with an existing desire to create a leaner organisation, The British Heart Foundation (BHF) were entering a consultation process that would sadly result in a significant reduction in headcount. They wanted to look after their leavers with compassionate and expert outplacement support but also needed a service appropriate to their not-for-profit budgetary constraints.

Why Connor?

We listened carefully to BHF’s needs and provided an initial proposal that included a cost structure that was sensitive to the not-for-profit status of the organisation. We then completed BHF’s competitive tender process that included providing references from previous clients who had similar needs, to give BHF reassurances that Connor were the best partner for their project.

The approach

Once awarded the tender, we worked closely together with BHF’s HR as a combined project team to carefully plan the most appropriate career transition support, taking into consideration the number of people impacted and what the right style and format of delivery would be.

What we did for The BHF

We provided tailored written communications and delivered personalised presentations to both employee representatives and the employees themselves, to help communicate to BHF’s people what outplacement is, what it includes and what it can do for them personally.

The presentations were followed by Q&A sessions that answered people’s initial questions and we also offered to talk confidentially with any of BHF’s people who wanted to talk to us direct, one-to-one.

Delivering in the ‘Covid-19 world’

BHF had never run a change programme of this magnitude before, which meant many of the people impacted were very anxious. And on top of that, there were all the worries being caused by Covid-19!

Having already delivered change programmes of this nature at the beginning of the pandemic, Connor had all the relevant materials and expertise ready for virtual-delivery and was able to reassure BHF’s people of our abilities to successfully support them still, despite Covid-19.

We delivered seven online workshops with follow-up ‘virtual’ one-to-one support. We also peer matched three BHF senior executives to senior executive Connor consultants, delivering bespoke and ‘indefinite’ executive support.

As well as written communications, presentations, group online workshops and follow-up individual one-to-one career coaching, the support also included access for as long as each person needed to Connor’s award-winning, online career transition resources platform, Connor Career Centre.

The results

The workshop stats (rated out of 5)

Objectives met:                                                                                   4.6

Clarity of the content:                                                                        5

Facilitator’s knowledge of material:                                                5

Skill / knowledge level increase (from before to after):              3.2 to 4.4

What the client said

Three senior executives plus 60 of BHF’s junior to mid-level people engaged with the career transition support on offer to them and feedback was really positive:

“Really valuable, informative and worthwhile. The support helped me a lot with understanding what companies are looking for and how to present my CV etc.”

“Very good course. Looking forward to building on this in the one to one sessions.”

“I really appreciated how the facilitator maintained our energy throughout the day and she was very authentic and encouraging. The use of the breakout sessions was brilliant.”

“Thank you for the confidence your coaching has given me, I’m really grateful for the support.”

“Thank you, I’m feeling settled in my new role and the onboarding coaching has been very helpful.”

BHF’s senior HR sponsor, commented:

“We had never run a change programme like this before, so it was a big challenge for our HR team and a worrying time for the people who were impacted.  We were conscious that we had to ‘get it right’ and when we started working with Connor, we quickly knew we had chosen the right partner to support us. The feedback we’ve heard from our leavers about the support they’ve received has been really positive and I’m extremely grateful to Connor for looking after our people so well and with such expertise. 

Connor demonstrated calm professionalism throughout and worked efficiently and effectively with our team which resulted in the project running really smoothly. All the support was provided remotely too, whilst our colleagues were working from home and Connor handled this expertly without compromising on the level of support.

The service that Connor has provided to BHF has allowed every single person’s support to be individually tailored, they’ve been flexible when we asked them to be, and they kindly took our charity status into account in the pricing.

I would recommend Connor to any organisation who wants their people to receive the best possible career transition support.”

– Kerry Smith – BHF Executive Director, People and Organisational Development

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