All too often, an employer finds itself in a position where there is a need for a reduction in workforce.
Economic factors, change in leadership, direction shift, or top-grading demands that employees and their roles be evaluated.
Unfortunately, many business see the chopping block as the option, and are rather merciless about it.
Employees are brought in, given the bad news, then literally booted out the door, all in a state of disbelief and shock.
But what employers really don’t bank on is the hidden cost to such a heartless termination.
As much as their corporate culture and brand embraces a “cool place to work” or a “company that cares” – the real truth in the pudding is how they treat employees on the way out.
And that’s where the danger lies.
Once the shock of having a job eliminated, anger sets in.
And that’s where things get really, really ugly.
It might not be a bullhorn approach, but how employees talk about their previous employers with friends, former colleagues, business partners, and stunned customers erodes the corporate brand that leaders have worked so hard to craft.
That’s where outplacement services can help.
Time and again, I have seen clients who have received at least some kind of helping hand of assistance in making this difficult transition act as ambassadors for the company… even after they don’t work there anymore.
Outplacement services, in general, provide at least a bridge that helps the employee transition from their job which has been terminated to being better prepared to look for new employment.
Companies that factor in outplacement services show that they aren’t a cold, heartless, cruel entity. Part of the reduction in force plan should include some kind of assistance.
The long run is that former employees are less likely to “trash talk” a company that actually made an effort to act as a resource during a transition than one who had the “don’t let the door hit you on the behind on the way out” approach.
In reality, outplacement services act as an investment towards continued good will towards companies, as well as an important reinforcement of the company’s culture and brand as a company that cares about their customers and employees.
It could make the difference as to whether former employees recommend others to work there, or even if they would consider coming back if circumstances allow.
This can affect a company’s competitiveness and ability to attract top tier talent in the future.
And ultimately affect the business’ image and reputation as a good corporate and global citizen.