Life is filled with uncertainty, sometimes in a good way and other times, in a horrible fashion. Since the business economy is also part of this ‘life’ no company can guarantee employment to all of its employees forever. There is a reason why there are ten to fifteen companies in the entire world that have lasted for more than a hundred years. As economic conditions change, companies find that their previously relevant and sought after products are no longer in a position to find any takers. When sales dip, revenues fall and the first reaction of any company lead is to cut costs where possible.
Among the largest costs for any company’s operations are people. This is also why, when it comes to cutting down costs, employees are the first to be left to fend for themselves. No one likes it when someone is let go. This sentiment is shared from immediate managers to the top level managers who run the show. If things are really bad, then the top management may also on their way out, ceremoniously or not. At this juncture, there are two things companies can do. They can do whatever they can to help out the employees by way of post-layoff life. Or, they could just do nothing and shut the door once they leave.
Ideally, simply closing the door on the face of employees who gave their lives to the company is never a good idea. There are some pretty solid reasons why you may want to consider providing your currently ‘former’ employees with some kind of outplacement services.
Humane Thing To Do
Losing a job is almost as bad as losing a loved one due to old age or some health issue or even a romantic break up. It is traumatizing to some people, especially when they had no clue that they are about to lose their job. Some folks usually plan for such events but most people don’t worry too much about losing their job, even though it has happened before to other people.
In such circumstances, the mere act of giving them some assistance, albeit a minor gesture in the form of outplacement services can show them that you, the employer, do care. There are many employees for whom the company that laid them off was their first job, right out of college. For such folks, knowing that the employer with whom they served for so many years, is at least helping them find some footing and new opportunities, is a good thought. It is not a happy thought, because the person has just lost his job. Then again, something is being done about it. Sometimes, that is all that matters.
Lack Of Direction
Career planning is something that is advocated by career managers and placement companies. Seldom is this advice followed by folks who are employed. Some are completely ignorant to all the bad signs that the economy keeps throwing at them. Some try to take it up on a serious note and then never finish the plan. Others just plain ignore it, because they think they will never lose their job. All things taken into consideration, the end result is that they have no game plan and once they are asked to leave their office, many become like a child in a forest. Completely lost, without a clue in the world.
Outplacement services can be that guiding light for these employees. They are given an opportunity, usually at no cost, to learn what they can do. Placement managers can discuss with them and help them with a good plan that should end with the activity of securing a new position at a new company. If some skills are missing, the counsellor will guide the unemployed person in the right direction of acquiring missing skills.
If not for anything else, making available the services of an excellent outplacement company allows employers to end the relationship amicably. Allowing one or several employees to be let go is almost like a breakup of a professional relationship. When break ups happen, they leave a bad taste. The existence of outplacement services and their engagement to help out of work former employees can reduce the negative word of mouth that might spread about an employer.
Employers should ensure that they are working in tandem with a good placement company that has a reputation of providing excellent outplacement services. The efficiency with which the outplacement company works, can have lasting impact on the way prospective employees look at the employer. If the outplacement firm does a good job, it will also prevent existing employees from becoming demotivated and lose interest in their current jobs.