Workforce changes can often be challenging, especially when your company is downsizing or laying off employees. This is where outplacement services can make a significant difference between employees who leave and still have positive things to say about your company versus disgruntled former employees who tarnish your business reputation.
John M. O’Connor, an outplacement expert and career coach, says that stellar outplacement services can protect the public relations of your business, both in what former employees say about your company to those outside it and online, and in how they relate to your current employees whom they still might have relationships with.
If your business is going through the difficult transition of restructuring, here is what to consider regarding outplacement services, brought to you by experts in the space.
Make Sure Outplacement Services Are Offered
Outplacement services are essential for a smooth restructure, since you don’t want to risk losing even employees who choose to leave due to the restructure and layoffs. If you don’t offer outplacement services, other employees may worry about what may happen if they’re put in the same position. O’Connor says that by showing your current staff that you value former employees enough to invest in their future, you send a positive message that you care about the relationships you’re building.
Don’t just sever the relationship during restructuring. Treat this step as another opportunity for your business to shine during the employment lifecycle. You don’t know what effect the employee you’re letting go of will have on current employees or even if you’ll want to hire them again in the future.
Pair Outplacement Services With a Message That Reinforces Gratitude
While being straightforward when laying someone off is wise to protect your business in a legal sense, you can still show a sense of empathy during the meeting that improves the sentiment the person leaving has for your business. Andy Molinsky, professor of organizational behavior at Brandeis University International Business School, recommends that conveying your respect to the employee that you are letting go is helpful.
Molinsky recommends pairing the outplacement services message with one that indicates you want to help the person land on their feet when they leave. This is a great way to convey you’re grateful for what they contributed to you while they worked for you.
Offer Outplacement Services in the Middle of the Week
Outplacement services are an amazing asset for your former employees, but they’re most effective when employees can actually use them. Offering them during a meeting at the end of the week may not be as effective, says human resources professional Deanna Arnold, because the shock of being let go or the emotional toll of the layoff may render former employees unmotivated throughout the weekend and unlikely to take action when outplacement services are open the next week.
By offering outplacement services on a Monday or in the middle of the week, the employees you offer them to can get started on their new career path immediately. They’re already used to being in “work mode” at this time of the week, which makes connecting with outplacement services easier and more natural.
Make Outplacement Services Valuable to Employees
The more valuable outplacement services are to your former employees, the more likely they will be grateful to your company for offering them, which creates a ripple effect of positive sentiment. The best outplacement services are tailored to the individual, which maximizes their use of time through more targeted job services and advice, says career transition services expert Sanjay Sathe.
Avoid outplacement services that rely on generic advice or group sessions. Some employees may be turned off by these and not use them at all, or be frustrated when they waste their time testing them out. Outplacement services that offer individual career coaching can help former employees find a better career option more quickly.
Choose a Reputable Outplacement Services Firm
In order to offer outplacement services that are successful for your former employees, you should search for a firm that can give dedicated and personalized attention to each person, recommends human resources expert Susan M. Heathfield. Advice should be based on current industry career trends, and resumes and cover letters should also be individualized. While efficiency is important in helping former employees achieve new great careers, the outplacement process should be focused and not rushed to the point where quality suffers.
Employment BOOST is a top corporate outplacement services firm that provides modern career services to help transitioning employees successful evolve their careers. Backed by JMJ Phillip Holdings, a professional recruiting company, and the brand’s 12 recruiting and career service entities, you can count on Employment BOOST to help your transitioning employees find future success. Call us at 888-468-6495 for more information, or visit us online for outplacement services information.