Supporting Displaced Employees: Why Your Company Should Consider Outplacement Services
Layoffs are an unfortunate reality in a down economy. Whether they are due to financial difficulties, restructuring, or other factors, companies often find themselves in the position of having to lay off employees. While it may be necessary to reduce your workforce, it’s important for companies to remember that employees are people with lives, families, and careers. Providing outplacement services is one way for your company to help support your displaced employees during this difficult time.
What Are Outplacement Services
If you are unfamiliar with the term outplacement services, you’re probably not alone. We haven’t always had this as part of our vernacular, and the phrase honestly doesn’t offer a lot of explanation on its own. When talking about outplacement, we’re talking about a benefit a company offers its employees at the time it lets them go. An interchangeable term (that makes much more sense) is career-transition services.
By offering these career-transition services to your employees, your company can help them transition to a new role faster. Companies can choose to offer a wide range of services based on the employees’ tenure, rank within the organization, and the budget you have available. Outplacement firms typically offer a range of services, including career coaching, resume writing, job search assistance, and networking opportunities.
Some companies will bring an outplacement firm onsite to work with transitioning employees, some will provide a stipend for the employee to seek out their own services, and others will partner with a firm to provide everything from basic services to weeks’-long support. Outplacement services can be offered to one person or several team members, and by providing these services to your displaced employees, you help mitigate the negative impact of layoffs and demonstrate your commitment to your company’s people.
Here are some reasons why a company that is laying off employees should consider using the services of an outplacement firm to support their displaced employees:
1. It Protects Your Company’s Reputation
When a company lets people go during a reduction in forces (RIF), it can have a negative impact on the company’s reputation. By providing outplacement services, your company can demonstrate that it cares about its employees and is committed to helping them during a difficult time. This not only helps the employees, but it can also serve to protect the company’s reputation and maintain positive relationships with displaced employees, retained employees, and the community at large.
2. It Mitigates Legal Repercussions
Laying off employees can come with legal risks, particularly if employees feel that they have been treated unfairly when let go. Providing outplacement services can help reduce these risks by showing that the company is taking steps to support its employees during this challenging transition. The services also give displaced employees a structured process to move forward in their career and life. This knowledge can reduce the likelihood of legal action, protecting the company from costly litigation.
3. It May Boost Employee Morale
During a reduction in workforce, it’s not just the laid-off employees who are affected; the employees who stay see what’s happening and wonder what it means for them. Are they next? Should they start looking? Does the company care about their people at all?
That’s where providing outplacement services can help boost the morale of all employees, including those who have been let go as well as those who remain. Providing such a service as part of a severance package signals to the team that your company values their contributions and is committed to doing what’s right for all involved. This attention to and value of people may help reduce the risk of attrition due to the layoffs while ensuring a higher level of engagement and confidence among employees who remain with the company.
4. It Provides Employees with Career Support
Losing a job for any reason can be stressful, but when it’s not of the employee’s choosing, it can throw them into a tailspin. This is especially true for long-term employees who’ve not had to search for a job for a decade or more. By partnering with an outplacement firm, the company gives displaced employees a leg-up on the competition with the documents and skills they need to land a new position faster. This is especially important for senior-level team members, who statistically can take six months or longer to land a new role.
By providing laid-off employees with career-transition services, your company will help them level up their skills and get ready for the job market, regardless of the current trends and economy.
5. It Saves Your Company Money
It might seem counterintuitive to save money by spending money, but that’s exactly what happens when a company chooses to partner with an outplacement services firm. While there is a cost associated with providing career-transition support, it can often be just a fraction of what your company might end up paying on legal fees, unemployment, and severance pay.
By providing your laid-off team members with support as they transition to a new company, you can effectively reduce the amount of time they spend collecting unemployment benefits, avoid legal risks that arise from wrongful termination claims, and provide employees with valuable skills to find a better fit moving forward. Plus, offering outplacement services lets the community know you value your employees and are treating them fairly, even in uncertain times. That can mean the company’s value—either in stocks or reputation—won’t be diminished.
Resume and Career Services Provides the Outplacement Services You Need
Laying off employees is never an easy decision for a company to make. However, by offering much-needed outplacement services, companies can support their displaced employees during this difficult time. Resume and Career Services provides the documents and coaching your employees need to transition out of your company and into a new role, shaving weeks off their search and helping them to see their value in an emotionally tumultuous time. Learn more about how we can help your company shine and your displaced employees thrive.