TIMES aren’t like they used to be. Once upon a time, when an employee was laid off from his job due to downsizing or other reasons, the next step to finding a new job was to get in line at the local unemployment office or start circling the classified ads in the newspaper.
Essentially, retrenched employees were left on their own to seek new employment. Nowadays, organisational restructuring can lead to generous financial benefits and employee access to outplacement programmes that can ease the transition.
Outplacement done well offers employees a far more palatable means of separating from an organisation, and can leave their former organisations a legacy of surprising benefits.
Outplacement programmes are designed to assist in the career transition of laid-off employees, helping both departing employees and their employers with various aspects of the employee separation process.
Good for business
Companies that provide a good outplacement programme are supplying employees with a lifeline to regain that sense of personal security and control, which is threatened in times of downsizing and redundancy.
While outplacement programmes make sense for employees, they are also good for business. A company benefits from an outplacement service in many ways:
• Ease the stress. The stress of having those dreaded redundancy conversations with employees is alleviated knowing you have the support of people who are specialised providers of these services.
• Bolster productivity. Organisations in transition typically experience falls in productivity and morale due to uncertainty and distraction. Outplacement programmes can go a long way to replacing uncertainty with greater resilience and focus, by supplying employees with new skills and a renewed level of confidence and control with respect to their future career, finances and personal resilience.
• Avoid costly unfair dismissal claims. They can advise on constructing severance pay and ensure companies remain compliant with relevant awards and conditions.
• Improve the quality of your redundancy conversations. Specialist providers can counsel managers on what to say and how to say it and supply confidential counselling services to those employees whose positions are made redundant.
• Ease post-redundancy business trauma. They can even come to the aid of managers and employees who remain with the business after the redundancy programme is concluded. A good programme will help ease the tensions of these remaining employees who worry if they are the next to be laid off or whether can they manage the tasks left to them from a former employee.
• Ease the burden of managing employee transitions. An outplacement service can help ease the transition for employees who have lost their job as well as those who are remaining, while giving them and their former employer peace of mind.
The services provided by an outplacement programme include benefits for employers and employees. A good outplacement programme can help to plan terminations and layoffs and severance packages, and train and counsel managers charged with the responsibility of conducting employee separations.
These are tasks that normally cost a business manager a lot of time, money and aggravation, and can be costly if done poorly. The programme can provide trained counsellors to be present on the day of termination.
The representative can meet the employee immediately after news of his separation, advise on how to cope with the experience, and even counsel how to relay the news of the workplace redundancy to his family.
Through career transition assistance, outplacement suppliers offer separating employees the more traditional job search training and can link redundant employees with financial planning and family counselling. Outplacement services can also be extended to skills or managing change for employees as well as skills for managers in leading organisations in transition.
How to select a provider
As an employer, the responsibility of choosing an outplacement provider falls to you. There are a few key decisions to make and questions to ask in choosing help for you and your employees in the event of downsizing:
• What is the outplacement supplier’s area of speciality and their experience?
• Do you need more than one supplier to adequately address your business needs?
• How long will the outplacement service last and how much will the service cost?
• What is the scope of its services? Does it support senior executives as well as employees?
• Does the supplier have experience in the latest methods of job search such as Internet search and networking?
• Is job search the only outplacement service you are prepared to support or are you willing to support counselling in more flexible alternatives such as career breaks, early retirement, volunteering or small business management?
• Does the supplier offer one-on-one career transition services or will former employees only have access to job search materials?
For businesses faced with these hard decisions, well-managed outplacement solutions offer the return on investment of a sound risk management strategy.
Even without regulations, a good outplacement programme is like having an extra insurance policy to help guard against the pitfalls of redundancy programmes for the business, the redundant employees and those who will remain in the organisation.
Article by Di Worrall, corporate change specialist, author, executive coach and principal of Worrall & Associates. She helps successful corporate leaders and small business owners with the skills and confidence to make change happen. For more resources, visit www.humanresourceschange.com.au/change-management.html. Article source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Di_Worrall