Has Covid made outplacement support more important for organisations?
Covid-19 has impacted organisations of all sizes, across all industries around the world, with many business leaders facing difficult workforce decisions as a result. Whilst providing outplacement support to those being made redundant isn’t a necessity, it’s never been more important for organisations to ensure those exiting the business do so, with the support and confidence to enter an ever-changing job market.
Post-Covid, the organisational benefits of investing in outplacement have become even more important; helping to ensure businesses remain attractive, productive and respected in this changed world of work.
Three key benefits for organisations investing in outplacement support with Right Management
When there is a need for redundancies, it’s important business leaders acknowledge the impact this change will have on the remaining workforce. CIPD research found that ‘survivors’ of a mass redundancy suffer feelings of anger, guilt, stress and insecurity. In a healthy work environment, its likely individuals will be more than just colleagues, and so people may be losing friends in the process, as well as taking on additional workloads or experiencing greater pressure to perform.
If left to fester, these ill-feelings could lead to remaining employees losing faith in the organisation, resulting in reduced productivity and performance levels and an increase in voluntary attrition. By investing in outplacement, business leaders can ensure that remaining employees see that those exiting the business are being taken care of; restoring both their trust and desire to work for the organisation.
Moreover, outplacement support enables those leaving to look towards the future and prepare for a smooth transition into their next role; with impartial career coaches helping them make realistic career decisions and work to a targeted action plan. This will provide those leaving the business with a positive experience that could make them more likely to recommend their previous organisation when networking in the future.
Ensures a speedy transition
When an employee finds out they’re being made redundant, it’s highly likely that they’ll embark on an emotional rollercoaster before they begin to accept the reality of their situation. Shock, anxiety and denial are all natural elements of the change curve, but these emotions can delay and affect an individual’s transition into a new role. This delay in acceptance can result in employees refusing to engage with their next steps, or a reluctance to begin searching for a new role.
A key component of any outplacement support is helping candidates understand their transferrable skills and explore the different career paths available; whether that’s a similar role in a different company, a career change, self-employment, further education or retirement. Having clear sight of the options ahead, as well as the tools and resources needed to take informed next steps, helps to reduce the anxiety of job loss and means exiting employees become more likely to achieve their preferred option quicker.
Furthermore, a growing trend in ‘pre-outplacement’ has seen some employers providing career development support to all employees prior to redundancy notification – meaning that individuals get a head-start in considering their next career move, as well as an opportunity to redeploy internally should a suitable option become available. Consequently, those who move on to full outplacement support are ready to hit the ground running, while the organisation can retain some of its talent through internal redeployment.
While Covid-19 has permanently changed many functions and ways of working, just because a role is no longer viable doesn’t mean that the individual previously filling it also becomes surplus to requirements. In this changed world of work, retaining skills and talent is key; whether that’s through internal redeployment as an alternative to redundancy, or in ensuring those who exit the organisation do so positively, with the idea that they may ‘boomerang’ back at some point in the future – and outplacement support makes this all possible.
Many organisations are also looking to also include additional support for those remaining in the business as part of their outplacement programmes. This could take the shape of change management and resilience training for line managers – helping them to conduct difficult conversations and address challenging emotions, or leader development in the form of face-to-face or on-demand coaching – ensuring leaders and managers are equipped to lead through transformation and drive the positive change needed for business continuity.
Furthermore, with a rise in Gig Working apparent pre-Covid, this flexible way of working is set to further increase as the needs of organisations fluctuate. More than 80% of workers say NextGen Work is a choice, not a last resort, and this part-time, freelance, contract, temporary, or independent contract work provides a win-win solution for organisations facing uncertainty or periods of downtime.