The recent economic downturn, thanks to the coronavirus, is something no business owner could have predicted. Redundancy has therefore been a common occurrence with the ABS estimating that around 2.3 million people were affected by job loss or a reduction in hours between April and May 2020. Although that time has passed, experts like NAB’s Chief Economist Alan Oster predict that widespread redundancies will continue through 2020. This constant unease leaves management and HR working under fragile and stressful circumstances.
Considering redundancies are inevitable, it’s essential to focus on the way companies deal with them. There is a vast difference between announcing a layoff and showing ex-employees the door versus supporting ex-employees in a meaningful way. “But it’s a redundancy, you’re telling people they no longer have a job, how can you approach it any other way?” Well, there is undoubtedly a better and more effective way and it’s by engaging an outplacement support service.
What is outplacement?
When faced with having to part with a percentage of your workforce, outplacement services will help you assist those employees in moving onto other career opportunities. The outplacement service may include:
- Coping mechanisms to deal with change
- Career reevaluation
- Resume writing
- Job seeking
- The Hidden Job Market
- Skills for interviewing
- Skills for working with recruitment agencies
- Psych testing
- Reference checking help
- Negotiation skills
- Transitioning to retirement
How can outplacement assistance benefit your business?
Using an outplacement service has multiple benefits for business; it’s just how you look at it.
Ultimately, redundancy should be as smooth and amicable as possible. But if your redundancy process only consists of notice and then a walk to the door to get the process over and done with as quickly as possible, then there are many factors are at risk. Including outplacement assistance as part of your redundancy can benefit your business by:
- Securing your reputation
Giving ex-employees access to an outplacement program is good for company values. The way you treat your staff goes a long way to reflecting your business standards to the public, your customers, potential customers and future employees. In the age of social media, ex-employees will be quick to air their grievances online and at the same time, tarnishing the reputation of your business.
- Save money
Many assume that using an outplacement service is too expensive and yes, it’s an understandable concern giving the current economic climate. But if you look at outplacement with a different perspective, you’ll see how it is in your financial favour.
Keeping your reputation intact means you don’t lose customers or potential customers. Keeping your reputation intact means you won’t have to spend more than usual on finding new employees in future because good talent will WANT to work with you.
Outplacement services can also improve morale and when morale is improved, so is productivity and revenue.
- Improve productivity and morale
When it comes to redundancy, we can’t forget the staff who stay. The staff who remain are likely experiencing workplace survivor syndrome – feeling guilty about why they stayed and their workmates didn’t. These remaining employees absorb everything and when their workmates are made redundant without any support, they will become bitter, morale will decrease along with productivity. Show your remaining employees that you value your staff and that you are supportive. Give them hope for the future, a reason to stay.
As you can see, internal and external reputation is a significant factor with redundancy; it can strike back at all angles if not handled sensitively. A positive during these testing times is that outplacement services can be handled entirely by an external business, leaving you and your remaining staff to focus on what’s important to keep your business running. It’s a win-win.
Kris Reynolds is the Directory at Let’s Talk Career, an organisation that offers career advice, coaching, talent management, psychometric testing and outplacement services for businesses going through organisational change.