The evolution of outplacement in 2021

Evolution of outplacement

2020 drastically altered the world of work and subsequently our ways of working. Employees shifted from office working to home working, juggling life, family and work commitments simultaneously with limited face-to-face interaction with colleagues, completely altering ‘office culture’.

As well as organisational culture, the ways in which organisations run and work transformed. CEO of Twilio stated that coronavirus sped up digital transformation by 6 years for companies. This digital transformation meant an overhaul of many operational, business and delivery models, leading to significant changes to the workforce that will continue at speed in 2021 and potentially the years following.

Supporting employees through change in 2021

Transformation on this scale coupled with the current economic climate has resulted in many businesses restructuring their workforce and in some cases redundancies. During this period, forward thinking organisations have been offering outplacement support to those employees impacted by redundancy. Outplacement support is a service provided to employees exiting your business that aims to transition the employee as smoothly as possible whilst supporting them to find their next role or explore alternative career paths.

Historically, outplacement services have been delivered face-to-face and often locally, where individuals accessing the support could search and apply for jobs with experts on hand to support. However, as the world of work has changed, the approach to outplacement developed significantly to meet the demands of the customer. Group workshops, 1:1 coaching, networking and interview preparation became fundamental parts of the outplacement package and as remote working became commonplace, a selection of outplacement services moved to online delivery via virtual hubs and platforms revolutionising outplacement support.

In March 2020, as the impact of coronavirus rippled across the globe, the outplacement market quickly responded, moving predominantly to online delivery where face-to-face programmes were no longer an option. 1:1 coaching sessions, workshops, networking sessions and interview preparation happened via video sessions or through online platforms. For the outplacement industry, this change forced digital transformation beyond what many providers were currently offering.

Outplacement trends 2021

Employee wellbeing

With the line between work and home life more blurred than ever before, individuals are feeling pressure to function as normal during a very chaotic and uncertain time. Businesses are also facing tough times, making difficult decisions to ensure their future survival, which includes changes to their workforce and unfortunately, at times, redundancy.

With individuals experiencing so much uncertainty, responsible employers have become acutely aware of the added strain redundancy can add to an already difficult time. They understand the importance of employee wellbeing and offering the right support to employees whether they are exiting the company or remaining.

In 2021, employers are looking for outplacement support that not only supports individuals in finding their next role, but also supports employees to navigate a very challenging and uncertain time. Outplacement providers should be looking to enhance their service by offering advice and guidance on topics such as developing resilience and improving wellbeing as well as more practical topics such as financial advice.

Supporting employees as they exit a business and creating a positive off-boarding experience is just as important as a positive on-boarding experience. As potential brand advocates, or in some cases adversaries, future customers or returning employees, it is within an organisations interest to ensure individuals leave their business with a positive memory and experience.

Digital transformation

Whilst the pandemic continues, the approach to outplacement will remain online for the majority of businesses. Some outplacement providers are taking their face-to-face offering and trying to replicate it online, whilst others are adapting their approach to suit the virtual world.

Outplacement providers that are investing in the right delivery tools, training and coaches understand that even in the virtual world these elements remain key to the success of an outplacement programme. Providers cannot simply take their previous delivery model and put it online. Coaches must retrain to deliver virtually and develop new skills such as virtual interviews so they can provide a valuable experience to individuals.

In our work environment, we have seen the need to adapt to a virtual environment, with convenience and accessibility key features of our new day-to-day lives. Outplacement solutions must also be able to support this new way of working.

Global capability

The world is more connected than ever, and this freedom means job seekers are no longer confined to their local areas. The coronavirus pandemic has again changed this even further with many organisations doing away with fixed office locations, encouraging home working and thus opening up a global talent pool.

To support this new job market, outplacement providers will need the ability to access global networks to ensure they can provide their candidates with the best options. Having an outplacement provider that has global capabilities is therefore crucial in 2021.

Accessibility & flexibility

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic employees have been balancing personal life and professional obligations, whether it is home working whilst home schooling children, looking after relatives or adapting to working in less than ideal surroundings. Due to this, organisations are recognising the need to be flexible and many are providing employees with more freedom to choose their own working schedules with the aim to focus on productivity and successful working rather than working to the standard 9-5.

Due to these changes, employees may be working outside regular hours and accessing information in various different forms. To be successful in 2021 and beyond, outplacement providers must also be flexible in their approach offering 1:1 coaching sessions outside the standard working hours whilst also providing support in a variety of ways to support all new ways of working such as 24/7 access to online platforms.

The evolution of outplacement

A key learning from 2020 was the importance of caring and supporting one another through challenging times. Outplacement in 2021 will be a continued progression towards providing individuals transitioning their careers and the HR teams managing each change with the very best support, advice and guidance, services and solutions. Throughout the pandemic, INTOO’s solutions have supported many businesses and individuals, adapting to provide the right solutions during these uncertain times.

This blog was originally published by our Global partner, Career Star Group. Read the original article here.

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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