Tuesday, November 5, 2013

6 Steps to Remember in Your Outplacement Project

Often, a misconception about outplacement is that it’s just about the program. The truth is that outplacement strategies at their most effective consider outplacement as an entire project, starting right when the organization thinks about re-aligning some of their staff - even it’s only one person.

Here are the six steps you should remember to include in your outplacement project.

1. Your outplacement communication plan. Know who’s going to say what, when, and to whom. This is really the case whether the outplacement process concerns just one person or a whole group of people. Of course, for a group of people it’s even more necessary to have the communication plan in place to make sure that notification goes smoothly and effectively. This step really lays the ground for everything that follows in your outplacement strategy.

2. Outplacement notification training. Make sure that the people who will have to tell employees that they've been laid off have some training in how to do it. This is not an easy job. I don’t know anyone who likes to do it, to be honest. And that’s usually because of all the emotions that come into play when dealing with the situation. Sometimes people will be relieved after receiving the notification, and sometimes they will be very angry. You have to prepare the person tasked with delivering the notification to deal with the immediate aftermath and to do this with dignity and confidence.

3. Someone to answer practical questions. At least equally important as notification training is having a professional on location to deal with the immediate practical questions that the just-laid off individual will have. These questions can range from “How do I collect my last paycheck?” and “Can I go back to my desk?” to “Should I call the headhunter who called me ten days ago?” and “How will I tell my spouse and kids?”

They may forget that they’re in shock, even if they’re not angry, and they may feel a need to act impulsively. You will need someone on hand to remind them that there will be an emotional rollercoaster to work through before they’re able to accept the fact that they’ve been laid off and need to focus their energy on identifying what kind of role is right for them, and then determining a campaign to find and win that opportunity. 

4. The outplacement program. Only then should outplacement services come in. If the three previous steps of your outplacement strategy have been handled well, the pre-work of preparing and setting the new jobseeker on the right path has already been done. Then the outplacement provider can engage with the candidate and really dig into the work of establishing and moving forward with a strategic job search campaign.

5. Continued communication with the outplacement provider. Ideally, the organization should have continued communication with their outplacement provider to keep tabs on what’s happening to their former employees after the layoff for two reasons:

  1. So that there’s some continued care from the organization
  2. So that the organization has the information to use as a case study and show a record of what happens when an employee has to leave the company.
This can be important for measuring and proving the success of your outplacement strategy as well.

6. Assistance for the remaining employees. If necessary, the organization should provide some kind of assistance to help the survivors of the layoff deal with the changes, keep their engagement levels up, and optimize their business performance.

Learn more about EmploymentTalk, the leading online outplacement software.


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