Recently, Chris Ceplenski of HR Daily Advisor asked RiseSmart’s Vice President of Marketing, Karin Bootsma, and Director of Practice Strategy, Lindsay Witcher, to answer the question, “Should we offer outplacement services to terminated employees?” in Episode 37 of HR Works: The Podcast for Human Resources.

According to Chris, “When you’re armed with best practices, plus the knowledge to keep your organization in compliance, HR works.” He acknowledges that, “One of the least-liked jobs in HR is termination, but over time, it’s unavoidable.”

During the podcast, Karin and Lindsay addressed the following topics:

  • Benefits of outplacement and the importance of the employer brand
  • Benefits of outplacement for laid-off employees
  • HR technology advances in outplacement
  • Measuring the ROI of outplacement
  • Outplacement and the employee relationship economy
  • Recommendations for choosing outplacement

You can listen to the podcast in its entirety, here, or catch a few of the highlights below.

Benefits of outplacement and the employer brand

The greatest benefits of using an outplacement services provider are realized by organizations that form partnerships with the outplacement organization and begin using services as early as the planning stages of a layoff or restructuring event. While it’s often assumed by organizations that HR business partners and managers can handle the planning and employee notifications during a layoff event, too often people in those roles have never had the training or practical experience to handle these very sensitive – and potentially litigious - situations.

In this portion of the podcast, Karin and Lindsay provide insight into the benefits of outplacement and its growing importance. As the workplace continues to evolve and corporate transparency and trust become the driving forces behind the new Employee Relationship Economy, organizations are rethinking their former severance policies and looking for ways to protect and improve the employer brand reputation.

Listen to what Karin and Lindsay have to say about why outplacement has moved from “nice to have” to a necessary part of every employee’s severance offering.

HR technology advances in outplacement

During another time of workplace evolution, World War II, outplacement was developed as a way for companies to keep their promises to employees who entered into employment agreements expecting to be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Interestingly enough, the outplacement models that were developed then are still in use today by many of the major outplacement providers.

The traditional outplacement model was developed to provide impacted employees an opportunity to continue on with daily routines and keep the appearance of leaving for the office every day. Today, there is no such expectation, and yet the model hasn’t changed. A contemporary approach to outplacement and career transition must reflect a workforce that is becoming more and more virtual and mobile and a job search environment that relies on technology – from job lead discovery through video interviews.

Lindsay discusses the importance of providing outplacement services that mirror how people work today -- integrating the use of mobile and virtual work environments into the outplacement services model.

Outplacement and the Employee Relationship Economy

The world is small and getting smaller and everyone is connected. Employers realize that their workplace culture doesn’t only exist within the walls of the home office. Employees who are laid off, or who leave voluntarily are likely to have interactions with remaining members of the team – or may even return to the company as a gig employee or “boomerang” employee. Whatever the connection, the end of an employment contract is rarely the end of an employer-employee relationship.

When organizations build a positive work culture and satisfying work environment, former employees will represent the company in a positive light to their social networks, peers, and prospective new employees on sites like Glassdoor. As organizations focus more and more on building positive relationships – policies and practices are changing to embrace more employees than ever before. While outplacement used to be a service only offered to top level management, the times are changing – and with them a broader focus on offering more benefits to more employees.

Listen as Karin discusses the shifts in benefits and severance packages and offers some insights into the newest trends adopted by employers of choice.

The expectation is now on organizations to provide a positive employee experience - from beginning to beginning. As employers seek to establish long-term working relationships with their former employees and to build brand evangelists among them, attention has shifted to how the employees leave the organization. To find out more about why your company will benefit from contemporary career transition services, listen to the entire podcast, here.

To get further insights into severance trends and the practices of employers of choice, RiseSmart’s 2017 Guide to Severance and Workplace Transition reveals the growing importance of projecting an “employee-first” workplace culture.