The Impact of Outplacement on Mental Health

outplacement and mental health

The impact of a job loss can be far reaching for the departing employee. The immediate uncertainty, the severing of work relationships, the loss of a comfortable routine, and the financial implications can be overwhelming. Often overlooked is the effect on employees’ mental health and wellbeing. In The American Psychological Association’s recent feature, “The Toll­ of Job Loss”, Carl Van Horn, PhD and Professor of Public Policy and expert on workforce and unemployment policy at Rutgers University said, “Losing a job and being unemployed for a long period of time is a psychological trauma and a financial trauma, and the two are closely intertwined.” Many people have a strong tie between their identity and their career and are unsure of how to move forward upon receiving the unfortunate news. Self-doubt, irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression are among the varied manifestations of this major life event. However, the provision of personal outplacement coaching helps individuals navigate complex emotions and focus on moving forward, productively.

A recent article by Mercer, “Saying Goodbye Responsibly,” stated that 40% of laid-off or terminated employees posted negative reviews regarding their former company on job-rating platforms. Ensuring departing employees are cared for and receive meaningful benefits upon termination is more important than ever. Providing this support demonstrates an organization’s commitment to employee wellness – not only to the departing employee, but also to those who remain and are aware of the separation. Those who remain are often not only concerned for their friends’ futures, but also experience anxiety about whether their own positions are stable. The knowledge that their friends are being assisted through their transition provides confidence that the organization will not leave individuals without support.

An outplacement coach provides resources, guidance, and encouragement which reduces the stress of an uncertain situation. The goal of coaching is successful re-engagement as quickly as possible in a role that fits the unique individual very well.

At Career Consultants | The Center For Leadership Excellence, our coaches provide coaching without a time limit until the individual meets their objective. We build relationships with individuals, assess career values and skills, and customize a program to meet individual goals. Experienced and effective support, a comprehensive, best-practices program, and structured goal-oriented meetings significantly improve an affected individual’s outlook and outcomes in an otherwise dire situation.

The Pandemic caused many organizations to review and improve their mental health benefits. Some provided enhancements like yoga, fitness club reimbursement, meditation and mindfulness programs, as well as access to mental health professionals. Continuing to provide benefits that focus on well-being, even as employees exit the organization, has become a necessity rather than a perk; these benefits contribute to an organizational culture where people are valued, supported, and well. Outplacement should be a part of an employee wellness program because it supports these individuals during one of the most significant moments in their lives. 

To discuss Career Consultant’s Outplacement Services or learn more, contact Jamie Maroney, VP of Client Services at jmaroney@cciindy.com.

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