Best Practices to get the Most From Your Outplacement Support
The value of your outplacement support is only as good as the employee experience. Read these best practices to get the optimal outcomes for your employees.
Our customers often seek our advice on the best way to share information about the outplacement support they're providing their employees. Although the best way will be unique to the specific individual or organisation concerned, our 50+ years of experience has highlighted several proven approaches. These approaches can help ensure the highest possible levels of engagement and participation.
Notification day support
The news of job loss can elicit a broad range of emotional responses. This can range from denial, shock, anger, confusion and worry. Having a consultant available (onsite or virtually) who is experienced in helping employees understand and manage their feelings is paramount to ensuring individuals feel they have been treated with dignity and respect. Our notification day consultants will highlight the full range of support being offered, reassuring individuals they have access to specialist teams that are committed to helping them make their next move.
Be there after the shock wave
Processing the reality of job separation can be difficult. What’s equally difficult is making sense of all the information provided at the time of notification. Many employees struggle to comprehend the reality of separation which means they aren’t thinking about their next career move. That’s why many of our clients choose to continue offering onsite support past the initial notification day, particularly if more than a handful of employees are impacted.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Helping departing employees make a positive next step begins with sensitive, well-planned communication. Individuals receive an overwhelming amount of information at the time of separation which means it’s critical to ensure they have clear details on how to access support.
Providing this information in several formats and at various points during the early stages ensures as many people as possible receive the support they need. We suggest:
- Provide the details included in their separation pack during the notification meeting
- Email the information to the employee immediately after the meeting and then again, a short period afterwards
- Ensure Line Managers and HR Team have the relevant information
- Post details of the support available on the intranet and /or in the employee handbook or benefits book
Our dedicated engagement team will proactively engage with employees who are eligible for outplacement support. We consistently notice a large increase in the take-up rate of the service when we’re able to reach out directly. This is why contact details are key to being able to successfully support your people during transition. People are often not in the right frame of mind to process information about support they are entitled to use. It’s often information that gets lost in the questions surrounding timing and redundancy payments. We’ve found that many people are not comfortable with making first contact. This reluctance could be for many reasons – reluctance to be seen asking for help, lack of confidence, uncertainty, or anxiety about taking a step into the unknown.
Why contact details are critical for success
- Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein have brought nudge theory to prominence in recent times, particularly when it comes to “nudging” or giving “micro nudges” in the areas of health and wellness. Often all it takes is one carefully thought out call by an expert to the employee to break that barrier and for them to take the support they need. A gentle ”nudge”, never coercion, can encourage a shift in behaviour that brings benefit to the individual.
- It’s common for individuals to feel anger towards their employer, especially in the early stage of the transition. This anger often shows in a reluctance, often outright refusal, to engage with anything that is deemed to be from the employer. A call from an independent third-party professional can help the employee access the support they need regardless of their feelings towards the employer.
- Many people are unsure of what outplacement support is or how it can help. People don’t realise that outplacement programs can help with things like starting a new business, actively retiring and personal branding. They also don’t realise all the additional resources, tools and connections that outplacement support can provide to help them prepare and complete a successful job search.
- Those who haven’t looked for a new job in some time do not realise how much the job market has changed. They don’t realise how an outplacement program can help them land a job much more quickly. We’re here to help optimise their social media profile and create a CV that gets recognised by ATS and other AI-based CV crawlers. We’re also able to directly connect them to hiring managers looking for people with their skill set.
We need a candidate’s contact details so that we can actively engage with them. Many organisations are concerned about providing this information while also ensuring they comply with data privacy requirements. We take our responsibilities for managing candidate’s personal data very seriously and have robust measures in place to protect personal details as we are GDPR compliant. In our experience, the vast majority of employees agree to allow their email address or phone number to be shared with an outplacement firm when they realise it could mean landing a new job that much faster.
Better engagement, better benefits for all
If an organisation has engaged outplacement services, they are already aware of the myriad of benefits that offering such a service brings. This not only includes benefits to the employees directly impacted by redundancy but also the wider employee population and organisation’s brand integrity. By taking onboard some of the steps discussed in this article, organisations can help ensure employees access the service and benefit from the investment made.