There are a lot of smaller and medium-sized companies who think that outplacement support is a luxury only used by the biggest companies. That is a dangerous myth.
So-called mid-market organizations can benefit just as much from outplacement as the big organizations. In some instances, the rewards are even greater.
Outplacement is a service offered to employees who have lost or will be losing their jobs, to help them find new employment as quickly as possible. This could can include a new role in the same or a different industry, retraining, retiring, or starting a business. Outplacement services include career coaching, resume writing, interview preparation, skill development, referrals to hiring managers, and targeted job leads.
However, for mid-market companies to get full value from an investment in outplacement, there are some common mistakes that must be avoided.
Mistake 1 – Only offering outplacement support to the senior-most employees.
Almost everyone who involuntarily lose their jobs experience feelings of insecurity and anxiety, regardless of their position in the organization. Even so, many mid-market organizations tend to offer career transition to only their senior-most executives. In reality, career transition can help employees at all levels in the organization acquire the confidence and skills needed to map out a future career path. Remember that your brand as an employer can be damaged just as much by a badly managed layoff involving mid to lower-level employees as it can be with a senior executive.
Mistake 2 - Assuming that employees who have gone through career transition services previously do not need support when they experience another job loss.
Regardless of whether it is the first time an employee has involuntarily lost their job or the fifth time, it can be a jarring, life-changing experience. Combine that with a rapidly changing job market and shifting personal goals, and it’s pretty clear that your employees need outplacement support each and every time they are laid off. This is particularly important in mid-market companies, which may view employees who have been through career transition before as more independent, and thus less likely to need additional support. Every job loss is a challenge and requires focused support.
Mistake 3 – Not consider the needs of the “survivors.”
It is very common for those employees remaining to be as profoundly impacted as those individuals whose roles are made redundant through organizational restructures. These ’survivors’ suffer a wide range of emotions such as relief, guilt, envy and resentment.
In addition, survivors can feel insecure, demotivated and anxious - all of which have a big impact on performance, sickness absence and accountability.
Good outplacement providers can offer programs that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of organizations to help the “onlookers” of change effectively deal with the business and personal impacts and improve their resilience.
Mistake 4 – Not seeing the bigger picture.
In times of economic turmoil, all layoffs have a big impact on society as a whole. The fewer people working, or struggling to find good jobs, the more likely it is that economic growth will suffer. And it doesn’t matter whether the layoffs are coming from huge, multinational organizations, or a mid-market company with 500 employees. When times are tough, every single additional person who is left in employment limbo creates a burden for society. That’s why providing outplacement support to everyone – regardless of the size of company they are leaving – is so important.
Remember that outplacement support is tailored to meet the needs of the individual in transition, no the size of the organization they used to work for. Everyone who suffers an involuntary job loss not only needs professional support, they deserve every chance possible to find another job, as quicky as possible.