A stitch in time saves nine, goes the famous proverb — yet both in business and in life, it’s often easy to ignore an issue until it becomes a true emergency. Most companies today, for example, are well aware that having outplacement services at the ready can help manage brand reputation, forestall lawsuits, and save money. Yet many still put off putting an outplacement plan in place until the company is actually facing layoffs — leading to a mad scramble when time and resources are already stretched to the limit.
The best time to put an outplacement plan in place is when your company is not going through a reduction in force. Creating outplacement solutions — even when all divisions at your company are growing and prospering — can help with recruiting and retaining talent, nurturing a positive company culture, and providing a cushion for the inevitable big and small changes an organization goes through.
Here are three key reasons why your company should create an outplacement plan at a time when no reductions in force are expected:
An Outplacement solution creates a culture of caring
Today’s employee stays in her job for just 4.2 years on average — yet many companies ignore this statistic, crafting employee handbooks and policies that seem to assume an employee will stay with a company for life. Forward-thinking organizations, by contrast, recognize that employees will change jobs — especially if the workplace culture is negative or opportunities lacking.
This is why employers of choice are choosing to put a permanent outplacement solution in place, providing it as a basic benefit given to all employees. By letting employees know that they’ll be given outplacement services should their jobs end, companies offering this benefit show their people are valued not just as employees, but as people with individual goals and dreams that may not always coincide with the company’s own plans. A company’s outplacement solution can be used as a selling point that’s included in employees’ onboarding benefits packages, so all employees know throughout their tenure that the company will support them, no matter what the future brings.
Although an outplacement service is one that presumably helps employees find work elsewhere, having an outplacement solution in place counterintuitively encourages long term employee engagement, loyalty, and persistence. A transparent, caring culture is helpful for attracting and retaining key talent in a company, especially at a time when the job market is tight.
An Outplacement plan helps your company move nimbly
Although companies most often think about outplacement services during official reductions in force, workforce transitions really happen continuously. Employees may move internally to develop new skills, or leave the company altogether to pursue other opportunities. Some employees turn out to be bad fits for their jobs or the workplace culture, and require the company to move or terminate the employee.
By offering outplacement services to employees affected by these smaller company changes, your organization is better able to respond quickly to both the employees’ and the company’s needs. People are better empowered to pursue the opportunities that make them happy and further their personal goals, while the company too is better equipped to make personnel changes in a timely, efficient manner for increased productivity.
An Outplacement plan prepares you for inevitable changes
Quite often, HR professionals are directed to manage reductions in force without much advance notice. This means that the very people responsible for breaking the bad news to affected employees generally aren’t given much time to prepare for these life-changing conversations.
Thus, it’s especially important to prepare for such big events as much as possible before they happen. You, as an HR professional, may not yet know when the next layoff may occur. But you can create an outplacement solution now, choosing the best outplacement provider for protecting employees’ needs. This way, if and when the time comes, you’ll be able to avoid costly offboarding mistakes that alienate both laid off employees and the remaining workforce, and instead focus all your energies on the conversations with the affected employees.
Choosing the right outplacement firm for your company is a decision that requires focus and deliberation. Take the time now to consider the needs of your company, and see how they align with the services outplacement companies offer. Some questions to consider when evaluating companies are:
- Does this company offer one-on-one career coaching for personalized support?
- Are impacted employees able to receive individualized job search advice and tips for their specific industry and set of skills?
- Can employees access this outplacement company’s services virtually, for their ease and convenience?
- Does this outplacement company show employees how to employ social media tools in finding a new job?
- Is this company able to provide outplacement services to all employees — not just top-level executives — at an affordable rate?
CareerArc’s outplacement services offer one-on-one coaching from premier career counselors, detailed resume reviews, video interview coaching, and many other cutting-edge tools and benefits — all available on a competitively-priced virtual platform that’s conveniently accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Learn more about how our outplacement services can benefit your company.