Please look after me when I’m leaving
We’re living in turbulent times, to put it mildly. Redundancy has become a common story on the business pages, a permanent part of our business landscape. For those involved, from the business leaders to the HR teams to the colleagues to those effected, it’s a painful process. Yet Outplacement can make a huge difference to all concerned.
Redundancy: part of our business landscape.
While changes in international economics and politics may play their part, it’s also part and parcel of being part of an ever-changing business landscape. Not since the industrial revolution have the foundations moved so much; with rapidly changing societal behaviours, new innovative technologies and a market place that’s never been so receptive to new competitors.
The result? A modern business is one that’s ready to adapt and evolve, reorganising to meet the needs of its customers. And that often means making redundancies. Clearly, it’s an unpleasant reality to face. But outplacement can play an important part in making it better for everyone. Here’s why:
It’s what a responsible employer does
There are statutory obligations and there are moral obligations – and that goes beyond the office whip-round and leaving do. If you have to change the shape, size or nature of your business, that shouldn’t mean abandoning anyone. They have made a contribution to your business; you should try to do the same for their career.
It protects your brand
Most people will recognise that redundancy is a necessary evil and a common part of working life. In which case, the way you handle the process becomes vital. If you treat your people with generosity and compassion even in trying circumstances, this will reflect your values as a business and an employer: people will take note.
It can improve staff morale
It’s easy to forget about the people who aren’t being made redundant – they’re thought of as the lucky ones. But the process creates tension for everyone in the workplace. While clear communications across every area of the business can do much to smooth the waters, it’s also invaluable to deliver something positive and constructive for your people.
It sows the right seeds
Handle the redundancy process insensitively and the likely result will be disgruntled former employers, sharing their grievances with family, friends and, via social media, the wider world. Take a more active role in their future and they are less likely to denigrate your business, more likely to remember the positives and could even become a part of your talent pool, should the right kind of roles become available in the future.
For anyone managing the redundancy process, it can be tempting to want to rip off the bandage. To wash your hands of the whole thing as quickly as possible. And if it’s a purely financial decision to say goodbye to some of your people, adding to the bill may seem like the last thing you want to do. But outplacement is an investment that’s worth making. It’s not just assistance for people leaving – it’s a way to strengthen your employer brand, to show the world your values in action and to smooth the road to the business you want to create.
Author: Rob Moore – RJM Consulting
RJM Consulting services: Associate & Interim Projects | Career Coaching & Outplacement Support | Talent Acquisition & Recruitment | Business Growth | People and Team Development