Outplacement: What it is and how it can benefit your organisation

What is outplacement?

What is outplacement?

Outplacement is a service provided to employees exiting your business due to redundancy. The aim of an outplacement programme is to transition the employee as smoothly as possible whilst supporting them to find their next role or explore alternative career paths.

Generally, companies seek to offer outplacement services to all employees impacted by redundancy, regardless of their role or level of seniority within the business, and will usually enlist the support of an outplacement provider to deliver outplacement services to affected employees.

Why outplacement should be part of an employer’s toolkit

As the world around us has changed, so have the expectations on employers. Candidates now increasingly look for responsible and ethical organisations that treat their employees fairly and with respect. Those that don’t do so at their own risk.

With the rise of company review sites such as Glassdoor and the readily available global platform provided by social media, employees past and present will critically review an employer based on how they treat their employees. Even more so when an employee has had a negative experience.

This shift in employer -employee relationship has made company transitions such as redundancies critical events for organisations and with outplacement now commonplace across many different organisations, industries and sectors, employees have come to expect it as part of an employer’s employee benefit package.

Forward thinking and responsible organisations create positive off boarding experiences for employees affected by redundancy. They ensure employees exiting the business feel supported and leave with a positive view of their previous employer. Outplacement plays a key part in these efforts.

The benefits of outplacement

The benefits of providing outplacement support to an individual facing redundancy are clear; access to the support, guidance and tools needed to help them transition successfully and land their next role. For organisations who are considering outplacement, or for HR professionals who are trying to build a business case for outplacement, the benefits of investing in an outplacement programme may not always be as clear. Here we detail some of the key ways in which outplacement can benefit your business.

Protect corporate reputation

Offering support to those exiting your business shows your organisation genuinely values and supports it’s employees. It protects your employer brand and supports attraction and retention efforts.

Create advocates not adversaries

Individuals who feel that their departure has been handled well are more likely to maintain positive relationships with your business, which reduces the risk of negative commentary online or through word of mouth. With platforms such as Glassdoor now a key source of information for new talent, maintaining relationships is a crucial part of any change programme, especially as you may look to re-employ individuals in the future.

Minimise future litigation

Individuals that are supported when impacted by redundancy are less likely to consider bringing claims against their former employer – an important consideration for organisations, particularly since the abolition of fees associated with bringing a claim and subsequent rise in cases. With the correct employee support, organisations can reduce the time and resource allocated to further investigation as well as avoiding costly legal bills.

Reassure remaining employees

Providing outplacement support demonstrates to remaining employees that you value your employees and their careers, which builds engagement and commitment at a time when it matters most.

Do the right thing

Redundant employees are likely to face considerable challenges as they seek new employment in the current climate. Providing employees with the safety net of outplacement support will help to alleviate any concerns they may have whilst also supporting them to find their next role in the quickest time possible.

For further advice and guidance on how to manage change and redundancy, including planning and communicating change, the redundancy process and employee support options available download a copy of our guide to ‘Supporting your organisation through change and redundancy’ below. 

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