How to be a responsible employer and stay in a positive relationship with an employee who needs to be dismissed due to many factors, almost certainly not the fault of the employee? The key word is outplacement.
This is the process of transferring talent from one employer to another company, in line with their professional profile and career plan. But that’s not all; outplacement includes psychological help for candidates to cope better with job loss, which otherwise causes very high levels of stress. Additionally, for employers who are keen to protect their brand and reputation, the facility of offering outplacement support for their former employees puts these employers in a much more positive light.
When tough choices have to be made responsible and sympathetic employers should welcome the opportunity to soften the blow of job loss for those leaving the company rather than only focusing on those who remain.
By implementing a process of outplacement we, as a consulting firm, will become a key link between the employer and the employee. It is important that the steps taken in the process of outplacement are accompanied by adequate psychological support.
Types of outplacement
Group outplacement – Here the focus is on a group of employees who lose their jobs working together. The main goal is better positioning on the labour market and their better psychological preparation for new business opportunities. Former colleagues working together on the same programme generally gain more from the positive influences of the “group dynamic”, supporting each other and introducing positive elements of competition.
Individual outplacement – this programme is aimed at each employee individually. It is mostly used in outplacement projects for middle and senior management.
Whether it is a group or individual outplacement, some of the basic steps are shown below.
Steps in Outplacement
ASSESSMENT (what are the qualities that the employee possesses, what is her/his motivation, how does she/he see next business engagement, where do their competencies and professional interests overlap …)
OPTIONS (providing information to the candidate on possible options – employment in another company or self-employment opportunities)
ACTION PLAN (when a candidate defines her/his needs from step 2, she/he approaches the
definition of correct steps of the action plan). Typically an action plan, which should of course be tailored to individual needs, may include: Résumé writing, LinkedIn profile development, Job Search and Networking guidance, Interview Preparation and Coaching, together with regular support and encouragement throughout the process.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT (this is a key step; psychological support / encouragement aims to keep the candidate focused and motivated on achieving the goal throughout the process of outplacement).
Each of these steps can be elaborated upon in more detail (and most importantly) adapted to the specific circumstances of the outplaced individual.
Most importantly, the candidate sees this process as an opportunity and a fresh start.
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