Perhaps some of you can recall that outplacement—often referred to as career transition services—began as a key element in severance packages. That was well before my time in the career transition coaching industry.
Still, today, people will tell me they offer outplacement out of a corporate ‘conscience’ based on guilt for laying off employees. And that is their driving force for inclusion of outplacement in severance packages.
Those of you who have been involved in workforce reduction planning and implementation know full well the stressfulness of it. And the reality is that workforce reduction is required for the survival of the business in many cases.
Smart corporate strategy? YOU BET! There are very solid reasons for companies to provide outplacement services. Here are four of those reasons:
- STRONGER MORALE = INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY. Retained employees observe how well or how poorly exiting employees and friends are treated in the workforce reduction. If treated with respect and dignity, the result is higher morale and productivity within the retained workforce. Retained employees reason that when it is their turn, they will be treated with as much (or as little) respect. Their work ethic is typically affected accordingly.
- REDUCED WORKPLACE VIOLENCE. Former employees who contributed to the company’s success and are provided with professional assistance, for the most part, move on to the next assignment more efficiently and quickly. This lends itself to less stress financially and on family members, thereby reducing the chance of former employees engaging in workplace violence.
- REDUCED LAWSUITS. Former employees fully engaged in the job search and who are conducting it effectively, are fully occupied in a positive manner toward the future. Typically, they are not engaged in negative legal actions as often.
- IMPROVED COMMUNITY RELATIONS. Not all employers and facilities are located in major metropolitan areas. How a workforce reduction is handled in all locations is important. But it’s especially important in smaller cities and towns where the workforce reduction may have a greater impact on the local economy. A win-win scenario for both employer and community is to assist those former employees in moving on to the next job as efficiently as possible. Not only good PR – good business and good community relations!
I am sure you can add to the list. Let me hear your thoughts and experiences!