These steps help sustain a company’s reputation & retain critical human talent, which greatly aid rebuilding efforts at a later stage.
In the event of a company restructuring or redundancy, management seldom sees the need to invest in an outplacement exercise: Why spend funds on exiting employees, when it was financial difficulty that resulted in retrenchments?
Contrary to belief, outplacement exercises and relevant services are a necessary cost for the company—employees are a company’s most important assets, and it is not their fault that they have to leave the company due to a restructuring. How the company handles their exit will impact the morale of employees, regardless if they are retrenched or retained.
An outplacement exercise that is managed humanely will show employees the extent to which the company cares about their future. This will improve the company’s reputation, which will greatly aid the company’s rebuilding efforts at a later stage.
Here are 7 Things Companies Must Do in an Outplacement Exercise.
- Plan the Outplacement Exercise
There are many points to be aware of in an outplacement exercise.
Some factors to consider include:-
- Who to let go, and who to retain?
- Can employees be reskilled and redeployed to other roles within the company?
- How many rounds of redundancy are required?
- How will it affect morale if it is delivered at the start versus at the end of the work day / before or after a festive period?
- What kind of support can the company offer to employees?
These are decisions that require a few weeks of planning, before the exit transition can be implemented.
- Announce It in Person
Employees already sense that retrenchments are likely to happen. They should hear the news from the company’s management, not from the media.
The redundancy announcement should also be delivered in person. This shows that the company is serious and sincere about their most important assets.
- Provide Support to HR
Most HR personnel are typically not experienced or equipped with skills to carry out an outplacement exercise. It is a complex process that may include many pitfalls, involves difficult conversations and emotional support.
Some areas that the company’s senior leadership should provide are:
- Training for the HR department and manager for consistent delivery of the retrenchment notice.
- Planning the outplacement exercise from pre-announcement to post exercise.
- Being present on the day to field queries.
- Provide fair severance packages if the company can afford to.
- Provide outplacement and career transition services for employees affected by the redundancy.
- Provide Support to Exiting Employees
Although you are letting go of your employees, they continue to carry your company’s reputation with them.
When the company provides career transition assistance for employees who are laid off, it shows an appreciation of the value that the employee has provided to the company during their tenure.
Employees should also be able to provide feedback or reach out to the company’s Human Resource department and management at all stages of the outplacement process.
An employee who feels supported will continue to speak well of the company, despite the redundancy.
- Plan for All Possible Scenarios
In the event of a retrenchment, the employee usually will not know what to do after the announcement is made. Most will have many questions about the outplacement process and their subsequent transition out of the company. It is expected for emotions to run high.
Depending on the job function and level of seniority, each employee will require different forms of support in the outplacement exercise and more importantly subsequently in their career transition. Thus, it is important to plan for these various scenarios.
- Get It Right
There are many legal considerations when executing an outplacement exercise.
This includes the company’s legal responsibilities to the manpower or labour ministry, what are payout amounts that reflect fair compensation based on the current circumstance, as well as the retrenchment benefits that contract workers and full time employees are entitled to.
- Treat This as the Battle, Not the War
A company has to treat the outplacement exercise as a small battle, while the war begins from the transition process, and continues beyond.
The elements of the war include reputation management, retaining talent, and the rebuilding and renewal of business at a later stage.
Strategic Partnership for Effective Outplacement
An outplacement exercise is a complex process that requires detailed planning and organisation. Outplacement experts can provide outplacement consulting services and career transition programs to assist your employees in their transition smoothly out of the organisation.
To learn more on how Calent3 can partner your organisation to professionally manage an outplacement exercise, email us at email@example.com for a non-obligatory discussion