Outplacement and Managing the Employer Brand
As we work in an environment of constant change many organisations will have to make hard decisions with regards to manpower planning this year. Many will need to restructure and make changes to their employee teams as part of their HR strategy.
Outplacement sends out a strong message that the intention is to treat former employees with respect. It does more than show that the organisation is concerned about the proper treatment of those made redundant; it goes a long way to reassuring others that the organisation takes care of employees. Apart from a desire to help former employees find good new roles, a key reason for employers to provide outplacement support is that it has a demonstrable positive impact on the organisation’s reputation among remaining employees, the wider community and the job market in general.
Morale and motivation are sure to be affected by redundancies but, handled well, the effects can be minimised, mitigated in ways that protect your employer brand and reputation.
Protect the employment brand
Protecting the organisational image and employer brand are pivotal when HR move into recruitment mode, particularly when it is for senior level roles. It’s all too easy for disaffected staff to do harm to your employer brand online. Those who air their grievances about the organisation or ex-colleagues may seriously affect organisational reputation, impacting current staff and future recruitment activity.
It’s important to maintain positive relationships with your talented pool, especially those whom you may want to rehire. Top talent will be talking to headhunters, competitors, clients and suppliers and it is better if they describe the organisation favourably; likely some employee you let go today may be a potential future customer.
Employer brand makes a real difference to candidates so give some thought to the support provided to departing employees. Candidates care about your reputation in the employment marketplace, they will do their research and will discount the organisation if they don’t like what they find. According to Harvard Business Review, a minimum of 10 per cent pay increase is necessary to convince a candidate to take on a job at a company with a poor employer brand.
It is plain that outplacement is more than an ethical responsibility, it is a factor in protecting the organisational brand, performance and profitability. Aim to minimise the stress on employees, while minimising the impact of redundancy on the morale of remaining employees.
Reputation and respect
Structured outplacement is a key part of managing the disruption that results from right-sizing and a standard component in corporate redundancy programmes. From a PR perspective outplacement is crucial to managing the employer brand. A reputable name and respected brand can be damaged astonishingly quickly especially since social-media has expanded the scope, speed and reach of commentary that could potentially damage an employer’s reputation.
At 10Eighty we believe that tailored transition support will help employees identify a wide range of opportunities and find roles that align with their values and aspirations. Career transition services should not focus solely on securing the next role but on positioning the individual, with tangible, practical support and advice, for whatever career path they choose to follow next.
The effects of a redundancy programme does not end with the last leaver, those remaining need to function with minimum disruption. They must pick up the pieces, often while dealing with an increased workload; they may be worried, angry or demotivated. There is an obvious management responsibility to demonstrate and model the benefits expected to result from the redundancy programme; it is important to promulgate a clear message around ongoing business strategy and the contribution that team members make in rebuilding and securing future prosperity for the whole organisation.