What is Outplacement and Why is It a Valuable Benefit for Companies?
By: Jessica Gendron, President
To be honest, until about two years ago, I had never heard of outplacement. It was a foreign concept to me – and it may be to you, too – but it can prove to be a valuable benefit to departed employees AND your company.
What is Outplacement?
Outplacement or Career Transition Support is a benefit that employers offer to an employee upon departure from the organization as a part of a severance or separation package (in addition to benefit continuance, salary/bonus pay, vacation buy-out, etc.). The benefit is generally offered if there is a reduction in force, downsize/layoff, position elimination, merger/acquisition, or a board/leadership team chooses to go in a different direction with critical positions; it is not often offered if there is a termination for-cause.
The departed employee is then offered career transition coaching or outplacement through a company (including us). The individual is then matched with a coach and they meet virtually or in person to address the myriad of issues that arise in a career transition: dealing with the emotions of losing their job, communicating to partners/family about the job loss, identifying career values and next steps, identifying what type of job, company, and/or boss to look for, how to look for a job in today’s job market, developing resumes (yes plural), cover letters, networking for jobs, interview skills and preparation, negotiating compensation and benefits, etc. Their coach walks the career transition journey alongside the individual (for us until they are successfully reemployed) offering support, guidance, networking, and troubleshooting throughout the process and in all of these areas. They prove to be a valuable asset and resource during the career transition.
Why is it a Valuable Benefit for Companies?
Two words: Brand preservation. Departed employees are often blindsided by the news that they’ve lost their job. They’re rightfully angry and disoriented. Offering them support during one of the most difficult and scary times in their life is not only the right thing to do, but also shows the individual that you, as an organization, care about them in the transition – and want to support them landing on their feet in their next role. While salary and benefit continuation is critical in most people’s eyes, outplacement services goes above and beyond their expectations.
Providing career transition support or outplacement also sends a message to your current employees about how you care for your people – even in their departure. It reinforces messages of a culture that cares for its people even when hard decisions have to be made. Having to terminate or eliminate positions is never fun or easy, but organizations can do what’s right to mitigate damage to their brand, but also support and care for their people in their transition.
Want to learn more? Contact Jessica.