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Health Assured team

08 December 2021

Most businesses will have to face employees leaving their role. It might be entirely their own doing; or it could relate to a redundancy decision.

No matter whose choice it is, employers can offer an outplacement service to departing employees. They allow you to end relations on a professional note. And let an employee’s transition go in the best means possible.

However, you must legally comply with all requirements during job terminations. If you don't, you could end up facing unfair dismissal claims. And this may lead to tribunal attendance, compensation penalties, and business damages.

In this guide, we'll look at what outplacement is, the benefits behind the services, and how to manage existing employees in the best way.

What is outplacement?

Outplacement is a method used to support employees leaving to find another job.

Their reasons for leaving can be personal, like starting a new job or moving house. Or they could relate to your business, like redundancies or financial cuts.

Outplacement support and services help an employee's career transition from start to end. It can come from finding alternative placements, seeking career coaching, or advancing through the jobs market.

But it's not just employment-based help that employees receive. They can also gain help with social and economic changes, too. Like, initiating a better work-life balance through hybrid working. Or introducing technological improvements to work practices.

A person receiving outplacement support.

How does outplacement work?

Outplacement providers are employers and businesses who normally have such procedures readily available.

You can present services through your own HR leaders. Or introduce them through an external firm (which is usually tax-free).

Helping exiting employees, who are leaving for new jobs, might seem like a time-consuming matter. But the benefits of outplacement fall to both parties.

Also, outplacement services provide both physical and psychological support, too.

Can you offer outplacement programmes internally?

Yes, you can offer outplacement programmes internally. Employers can dedicate someone to be responsible for delivering sessions and courses. However, they need to be trained and capable enough to perform them.

Alternatively, you can take the more secure option of contracting outplacement firms, via an external source.

Remember, a career coach can only help improve an employee's personal brand. They're not there to help you recruit new employees or convince job seekers to stay. They used to provide personalised support, rather than promote 'employer brand'.

How much does outplacement services cost?

The cost of outplacement services varies depending on what type of service you use; and how many employees are enrolled in them.

But it doesn't mean you should ignore them altogether. Set a budget for an outplacement service that is relevant to your employees and business. Spend on areas which are worth spending on, like using an interactive course on interview preparation. And save costs through other areas, like using online resources for cover letter writing.

Remember, most costs will vary depending on how many employees are registered for the outplacement programme. Budget accordingly and ensure all employees have the same access to these services.

Outplacement services provide a better reputation for your business, too. This in turn, reduces the cost of unemployment claims and repercussions.

An image of a career coach.

Why would a company provide outplacement assistance?

It’s important to accept employees will come and go in business. Handling an employee's career transition to new jobs should be done in the best way.

Showing practical and emotional support allows you to end relations on good terms. Former employees may also recommend your business to potential candidates.

Providing outplacement assistance helps your company with:

Growing employee engagement

When businesses are dealing with workplace change, you're always left with impacted employees to manage. Change brings about complications for everyone, even if the change is a positive one.

If exiting employees leave because they were unhappy or unsatisfied with their work conditions, it raises concerns for others.

That's why it's important to support and engage employees. By protecting engagement, you're guaranteed to establish a healthier environment with a happier workforce. Employees can leave with skills to utilise in their future roles. For example, negotiating salaries, career assessments, and job market research.

Producing effective management

When it comes to employee satisfaction, you need the best form of management in place.

Producing an effective management team allows you to deal with workplace problems in the best way possible.

For example, redundancies in the workplace aren't the easiest to deal with. Line managers and senior executives must understand your business model for job terminations.

By delivering change in the most suitable manner, employees have regular access to relevant work information. And this is crucial during your employees' transition from having a job to becoming a job seeker.

Minimising relevant litigation

All businesses must comply with legislative regulations relevant to their business.

When employees remain out of work for long periods, it causes a rippling effect on their career development. But it also has a costly effect on their employment position.

Exiting employees should part ways on positive and professional notes. (Even if conduct has slipped with their previous employer).

By doing so, employees can leave on good terms with everything they need to start a placement elsewhere.

This might not seem like a beneficial thing for your business at first. However, employer brand and credibility remain intact by ending things this way.

An image of a new office.

Is offering outplacement services a legal requirement?

There is no specific law on offering outplacement services to former employees. However, there are relevant legal requirements which relate.

It’s vital for employers to follow lawful regulations when dealing with terminations.

Following correct procedures will ensure legal compliance is met throughout. This eliminates the chances of unfair dismissal or redundancy claims raised against you.

You can also manage unemployment benefits costs, minimise employee conflicts, and maintain positive reputations.

Are outplacement services only for departing employees?

No, outplacement isn't just for employees classed as 'job seekers'. Ideally, these benefits packages and sessions should be available for all employees, not just outplacement participants. For example, you should offer them to employees who:

  • Leave on their own accord.
  • Leave to start their own business.
  • Are facing retirement or redundancy.
  • Are starting a new job.
  • Are going through re-employment.
  • Are seeking career coaching.

An image of career coaching.

How to offer outplacement to transitioning employees

Businesses need to take care of their staff–from their first day, to their last.

When employees leave their job role, there are many ways to ensure a smooth transition. By doing so, you can protect brand-reputation and employee relations until the end.

Here are ways to offer outplacement to transitioning employees:

Present the benefits of outplacement

When it comes to job terminations, employees can feel a range of emotions. Some might feel deflated that they're being let go from their role. Others might feel bad about leaving their current role or former employer.

Whatever feelings may be flying around, it's important to present the benefits of outplacement. This provides all employees with the necessary support for job terminations. Employees leave on a stable note, (maybe even with positivity), knowing they have enough experience and skill to prosper.

Choose the most useful outplacement services

There are several methods used to deliver outplacement solutions. That's why it's important to choose the most useful service for an individual job seeker.

Common examples of useful outplacement assistance include:

  • Career transition services and career coaching.
  • CV writing, cover letters, and job applications.
  • Modern job search and networking.
  • Interview preparation.
  • Self-assessments and resiliency training.
  • Salary negotiation.

Any of these can be presented through job coaching, group workshops, and financial guidance–all which revolve around career development. And these can take place through traditional or modern outplacement services.

Remember, these skills ultimately help employees focus on positive change and improve wellbeing. Outplacement support provides employees with the confidence to apply for new jobs they never would before.

Using in-house or professional services

It's entirely your decision on who delivers your outplacement programme.

You can assign sessions to a competent employee, like a HR professional. Just ensure they're capable enough to deliver courses; and that they are entirely detached from your outgoing employees.

You could choose to hire services from executive outplacement companies. It might seem like a costly decision, but you're guaranteed to provide excellent services.

When choosing an executive outplacement firm, you should consider the following:

  • What type of redundancy service do they provide?
  • What is the cost of outplacement services?
  • Does the service benefit exiting employees?
  • How is data and feedback presented?
  • What is included in each session?

Reassuring your remaining employees

It's common that exiting employees may cause disruption and stress for remaining staff.

Fears of redundancies and terminations can have a significant impact on employee engagement and output. That's why you need to present reassurance for your remaining employees.

Demonstrate your aims to keep the business running smoothly and effectively - providing support and help to all.

A well-defined outplacement solution can ensure a smooth handover. This will help current employees who will be picking up the reigns.

Get expert advice on outplacement services with Health Assured

When dealing with exiting employees, it's bound to cause significant impacts on your business. But it’s crucial to follow the legally correct method for career management services.

If you don’t, you could unintentionally make unfair dismissals and redundancies. Meaning you could face compensation payments and court hearings – leading to repercussions on your business productivity and reputation.

Health Assured provides expert advice on your outplacement service. Our HR professionals can walk you through managing employment contracts and termination support.

We provide a 24/7 helpline that's open 365 days a year – helping you care for your staff all year round. Arrange a call back from a workplace wellbeing expert today on 0844 891 0352.

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