Making the decision to reduce your workforce is never easy, but sometimes it has to be done.
One of the most common instances of this happening is when two companies merge. Oftentimes it will be discovered that there are some redundant roles. As a result, employees will ultimately be forced to leave the company. While it’s stressful for the company to make these important decisions, it’s even more challenging for the employees that are now left to find other work.
Luckily, reducing your workforce doesn’t have to be a negative experience for everyone involved. That’s because there are a few ways you can minimize the impact this decision has on your employees and your business overall. With the help of outplacement services, the transition to a new career can be smooth and stress-free, ensuring everyone is happy with the end result.
In most cases, companies choose to offer some sort of severance package to employees after they’ve been laid off. While a severance package can be beneficial in the way of providing financial support, it’s not always enough. The amount of money an employee receives is directly related to the length of their employment prior to being terminated. Plus, payment for unused vacation and sick days can also be factored in.
However, this money can sometimes run out before that person secures a new job. Landing employment, especially during challenging economic times, can take a little while. And if their bank account is dwindling during the job search, it only creates more unnecessary stress.
That’s why it’s more valuable to offer outplacement services to departing employees, as opposed to just sending them along with a severance package. Not only will it be more beneficial to them, but it also provides tools and resources they can carry with them well into the future. Whenever they’re searching for and applying to new jobs, they can refer back to the wisdom your company has previously offered and use it to continue advancing in their career.
One exciting thing to consider is that outplacement services aren’t just good for your employers. They can actually be pretty transformative for your company as well. After all, this should be a mutually beneficial program that creates a positive difference for everyone involved. Here are seven reasons why you should consider developing and offering such a program:
1. Makes the Transition to New Employment More Seamless
Sometimes you need to put yourself in the shoes of your employees. If you were in their situation, having been let go from a job, how would you feel? What would benefit you during this time? Having a program in place that will help you transition from your older job into a new one would make everything less stressful and alleviate uncertainty.
The whole point of offering outplacement services is to make everything as seamless as possible. Instead of leaving your past employees out in the dust to fend for themselves, you can offer support and guidance. Help them through the process of finding new work. Not only will they be appreciative of the effort you’ve put in, but you’ll feel a sense of pride for being able to make a difference in their lives. When developing this program, consider what would address their needs and focus on addressing their pain points during their transition to new work.
2. Helps Terminated Employees Find New Work
One of the best things you can do for your employees is to be a guiding light during this time and help them throughout the process of finding their next job. It will take a lot of pressure off those employees who have been terminated and make it an easier time for them to navigate.
Your outplacement services can offer expert advice to help with job hunting, ultimately speeding up the process. Assist them in creating a new resume, scouring the job listings for their ideal job, and even help them prepare for the interview. The sooner they’re able to find a new position, the less time they’ll have to spend collecting unemployment.
Although your company doesn’t have to pay any additional fees when a former employees begins collecting unemployment, it can impact the annual tax rate you pay toward the state. This is because that amount can sometimes increase based on the number of unemployment claims past employees have made. This depends where you’re located, but it’s always nice to avoid incurring extra costs.
3. Can Eliminate Wrongful Termination Lawsuits
Layoffs can sometimes lead to wrongful termination lawsuits because frustrated employees often want to take their anger out on someone. This can lead to them citing things like hostile work environments, harassment, discrimination, or other issues in order to receive compensation.
People will be less likely to resort to these tactics if they feel their previous employer is taking care of them in the transition to a new career. That’s because they’ll be able to move on to better things quickly and easily. Not only does it take the stress off of them during this time, but it can also ease anxiety for you when it comes time to let people go.
Plus, companies typically have insurance that protects them against wrongful termination lawsuits. In these instances, those companies are often looked at more favorably when they have outplacement services to provide to employees. And the last thing anyone wants is to be left dealing with legal battle.
4. Prevents Workplace Stress and Tension After Termination
The harsh reality is that you can never be sure how someone will respond to being terminated. Losing a job has led people to workplace violence in the past, which means action needs to be taken in order to prevent disaster from occurring after layoffs.
While having outplacement services available isn’t a foolproof solution, it can play a role in decreasing the stress and tension that past employees are left to deal with. That’s because these services can assist them in securing a job with another company. When they once again have steady employment and a reliable paycheck, any frustration they felt for being laid off will likely diminish.
Ultimately, a program like this is going to help everyone maintain health and happy relationships in the office moving forward. That provides a better outcome all around.
5. Cultivates a Positive Reputation for Your Company
Companies that have a reputation for being considerate toward its employees are going to have better success in the long run. That’s because they’ll be more likely to have happier teams and a lower turnover rate since people won’t be inclined to leave for another job. And at the end of the day, employees who are pleased with their roles and the companies they work for are going to do a better job.
Plus, customers want to support businesses that take good care of their employees and treat them well. At the end of the day, your reputation matters. Don’t give anyone a reason to talk negatively about your company after they’ve departed. Do what you can to ensure they leave on a positive note.
6. Provides Valuable Counseling for the Future
Layoffs impact everyone differently. While some will remain calm, cool, and collected during a major change like this, others aren’t. Some of your employees will feel panicked and stressed, which is something they shouldn’t have to go through alone. As part of an outplacement program, you can offer counseling so they have someone to talk to about their feelings and their struggles.
This will help them to better handle any emotional distress that comes up after losing their job. Not only that, but they’ll be able to put a positive spin on the situation as they get back out into the world in search of a new career. You never want anyone to walk away feeling hurt or disappointed by your company because it’ll only be a poor reflection on your business overall. Do what you can to make sure they’re taken care of in their future endeavors.
7. Can Save Money When Compared to Severance Packages
As mentioned previously, severance packages are commonly offered to employees after they’ve been terminated. While they provide a great temporary solution to someone’s financial woes, it’s not a long-term solution. It can also be costly for you as the employer to offer a fair severance package, especially amid massive layoffs. So, it can be more beneficial to offer outplacement services that can be a great source of long-term value for those departing your company.
Should you choose to provide both options, you can give your employees the opportunity to make a decision between the two. Would they prefer the severance package or a service that will aid them in securing a new job? If more are inclined to sign up for the outplacement services, they can be offered in a group setting and may only cost a small amount to run.
Now that you see how helpful outplacement services can be, you might be wondering how you can create one for your own company. Because the whole point of this program is to help past employees effortlessly transition into a new job, you want to have resources in place that will help them throughout the job hunting and hiring process. This way, they never feel like they’re alone during this time.
Here are a few things you should offer as part of your company’s outplacement services:
Resume Writing: When applying for a new job, the first impression someone gives to a potential employer comes in the form of a resume. If their resume doesn’t grab attention, it’s unlikely that person will receive a call for an interview. Offering a resume writing service will showcase an employee’s marketable skills and make them more appealing to a potential employer. Part of this could also include enhancing their social media presence (such as on LinkedIn) to help attract potential employers their way.
Guidance Regarding the Job Search: Hunting for a new job can often be overwhelming, as there are so many hiring websites and listings to sift through. When someone has previously worked with your company, you have seen firsthand the skills they bring to the table. This can be helpful as you guide employees toward finding the jobs that allow them to put their talents to use.
Interview Preparation: Nailing the interview is a crucial step in securing a job with a new company. As part of your outplacement services, it’s smart to help past employees prepare for their interviews. Assist them in efficiently answering questions and offer tips that will help them stand out from their competitors. Then, they’ll feel confident in every interview they attend.
Career Coaching: If you really want to take it a step further, consider offering some sort of coaching that will prepare your past employees for their next career endeavors. Private coaching via one-on-one sessions or group coaching can both be beneficial in this situation. This allows you to offer personalized support by answering questions, offering advice, and more.
At the end of the day, it’s all about taking care of your employees, both past and present. The companies that go above and beyond to do this are the ones that have happier teams with a lower turnover rate. Put yourself in their shoes to determine which resources would be most beneficial during this trying time. Those who ultimately need these outplacement services will be thankful for them when needed.
Here at Right Management, we’re committed to making career transitions as easy and painless as possible. And with the help of our team, your employees can land new jobs up to two times faster than going it alone. That’s because we offer access to specialist coaches who can assist in the job search, making connections, and much more.