How employees leave a company is just as important as how they are onboarded. As restructuring and redeployment become a reality for many companies and industries, there are many reasons to invest in outplacement to help transition employees through their next steps. Offering outplacement services means that those in transition get professional help in identifying and preparing for their next career move. Here are important questions to ask before getting started with such a program.
Why are you investing in outplacement?
First and foremost, helping employees navigate their next steps after leaving the company is the right thing to do. It’s also key for maintaining trust in the employer. In today’s world of increased transparency due to social media and review sites such as Glassdoor, businesses must remember that former employees are critics and customers. Businesses must also consider boomerang workers, with the possibility that former employees represent talent for the future.
What do your employees really want?
It’s not enough to provide employees with a financial package and send them on their way. Access to outplacement resources, including virtual coaching and training, is now more important than ever to candidates. Coaching provides the greatest benefit to candidates in transition – offering opportunities for individuals to explore their options with a qualified career coach. In fact, according to Right Management data, candidates who were “matched” to a coach in a specialized area of expertise landed 20% faster than those not matched. The focus for many outplacement discussions will be on upskilling or reskilling and highlighting areas for development that will help gain those skills and boost confidence and increase employability.
Are you communicating fairly and transparently?
Communication is key for any change project, especially restructuring. Providing clarity from the outset is important to help individuals understand how they will be affected, as well as avoiding mixed messages traveling across the company. Answering difficult questions will help employees better understand the process. It’s also essential to communicate the benefits of outplacement support to individuals and managers.
What happens with the remaining employees?
Organizations often focus on those exiting the business yet make little investment in those that have retained roles, despite the difficulties and increased expectations that may be placed on them. Developing an engagement strategy, including coaching and training, that covers all groups, especially those tasked with moving the organization forwards, is key. It’s critical that individuals understand the role they play and the value they bring in helping shape the path forward.
What are you looking for in an outplacement provider?
An outplacement program designed to fit all needs is likely to suit none. Instead, focus on how an outplacement provider can tailor support to suit individual challenges. Consider whether the support includes a focus on transferable skills, the technology provided and ease of access, including virtual delivery, if participants can choose from a series of topics to suit their career goals, or if it’s scalable. Choosing a provider that meets employees where they are is critical to taking the next steps.
There is no doubt that the employment market has changed overnight, and with that takes careful shepherding of employees to help them navigate the stages of their journey. Now more than ever employers who need to pursue outplacement services need help making critical decisions about the future, and it starts with asking the right questions.
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