As uncertainty in the economy and the job market continues, businesses are still having to make the difficult decision to make roles redundant in higher numbers than we have seen in over 10 years. Whilst this is never an easy decision, it can be made even more difficult when you know you are going to be putting more people into an already challenging job market. You might worry about their ability to secure another role against stiff competition, the time it might take to land something new, or their self-confidence and resilience – while most likely doing all of this at home in their safe space, without the option to go out and connect with people.
I recently ran a poll with a group of HR professionals, asking about their top priority once they had made the decision to make redundancies. For over 80% of those that responded, doing the right thing for their people came out on top. So how does outplacement help you to compassionately support your leavers during a particularly challenging time, and what wider benefits can this also bring your business?
Looking after your people
Outplacement is there to support leavers to find the right next opportunity for them, faster than if they were working by themselves. Connor’s outplacement means people are supported for as long as it takes to secure their next opportunity, with unlimited contact with their dedicated career coach. We cover the practical skills needed to find and land a job, but also wider support around confidence building and resilience throughout the process. Working with an outplacement consultant gives someone the inside track on how the recruitment market works so they can better understand how to position themselves and leverage their network appropriately.
All of this means that if someone’s role is made redundant during this challenging time, giving them outplacement support reassures people that they are not alone. They have an expert by their side and on their side, to help them navigate the uncertainty and unknowns of the job market. Knowing this helps to soften the blow to the individual when they first hear the news of redundancy, and it shows you really do care about what happens to them next, putting your money where your mouth is and investing in them upon departure. It helps people who can often be left feeling worthless and replaceable, to instead feel that they do have value as an individual and employee, even if there isn’t a place for them in your organisation. Sometimes just the acknowledgement that you know it’s hard out there but the business is committed to helping them take their next step, can make all the difference to how the message is heard and understood.
Perception of those staying
Another key consideration that came out of the poll was a concern about how redundancies impact the perception of those staying in the business. One of the things we often see after a compulsory redundancy process is an increase in leavers outside of the consultation process as well. Those not directly impacted by redundancy can start to worry about their own job security and start to look elsewhere. If there is a concern about how former colleagues and friends have been treated on their departure, this can also prompt someone to reconsider their future at a time when you need them most to help keep your business running and to retain the expertise. Even though this group isn’t leaving the organisation, outplacement can still go a long way to help ease their fears. Seeing colleagues being looked after by the business and people feeling more positive about their next step, helps stop those feelings of disquiet towards the organisation. Knowing they too will be looked after if further down the line they also come under consultation, helps minimise the fear of needing to look around now, by themselves and without any additional support. The talent and experience you desperately need to continue running your business are more likely to stay if they see the leavers being looked after compassionately and authentically.
Maintaining business as usual
The third topic from our poll was a need to maintain business as usual whilst redundancies are taking place. While so many businesses are under increased pressure, you can’t afford to have people on the payroll and not performing, but this can unfortunately happen after telling people their roles have been made redundant. As consultations can take time to complete, people work out their notice period or maybe know a decision has been made, but won’t take effect for a few months; they can become increasingly disengaged with the business and performance can drop therefore off. Even the most conscientious of employees can’t help but feel distracted about their future and feel they should be taking action now to line up their next role. From our experience, knowing your leavers have the help of an experienced outplacement coach helps them to stay focused in their current role for longer. They feel more confident about what comes next and are much more likely to have a plan they can work through, instead of becoming overwhelmed by stress and wanting to spend all available time on their job search – even if this is time that they are still employed by you.
If you missed our recent live webinar discussion around compassionate support for leavers and the business benefits of living your values, you can catch the recording On Demand here. Simply fill in the form to download.
How can we help?
We are one of the leading outplacement providers in the UK, having helped hundreds of organisations to support thousands of leavers through redundancy and on to their next opportunity. If you would like to discuss outplacement for yourself or your organisation in more detail with us, you can get in touch here or call +44(0)1491 414010.