Outplacement support often focusses on getting the departing employees into new roles as quickly as possible. While this might be one positive outcome that could be achieved, well-rounded outplacement support should also keep alternative career pathways open to those who are interested in them. One such career path is self-employment. Redundancy might not seem the ideal route to starting your own business, but outplacement support is the key link that may even give start-ups an advantage over the competition. One of the most ambitious and supportive outplacement programmes is provided by Nokia, the ailing mobile phone manufacturer. We take a look at the support that they offered their employees, and how it’s helped them start businesses of their own.
It’s well known that Nokia was one of the big names in the mobile market until smartphones took off. The Finnish company got left behind as Apple and Samsung leapt forward. In early 2011, Nokia announced it was abandoning its own operating system and would switch to working with Windows. This required a near-total restructuring of the company. Between 2006 and the end of 2013, the company’s Finland-based workforce more than halved, falling from 24,000 to just over 10,000. Clearly there would have to be a great deal of redundancies involved in the process.
Nokia aimed to soften the blow by setting up its own outplacement support service – the Bridge programme. It offered support to workers who had been told they were to lose their jobs. Financial assistance and a fair notice period was offered, as you might expect, but Nokia employees were also allowed to stay at their desks for six months as they applied for new positions and focused on the future. Given the size of the company, Nokia was able to give these employees extensive training and advice, including help to staff who wished to instigate their own start-ups but weren’t sure how to go about doing so. The company awarded grants of up to £20,000 to the start-ups of leaving employees, and helped coax banks into providing the new companies with additional finance. The scheme has seen the creation of around 400 ex-Nokia start-ups.
The Bridge programme has clearly given Nokia a great deal of good publicity. It’s helped to keep the spirit of the company together through difficult times. Matt Vanska, who’s in charge of the programme, told the BBC that the benefits Nokia have received through this process are nowhere near as important as the benefits for the individuals and the community. He calls it ‘career responsibility’ – but we call it outplacement. The support that Nokia gave its employees has enabled them to make the huge leap into self-employment. The hundreds of new start-ups and companies that have been born of this scheme will flourish, take on thousands of employees and help out Finland’s economy. To receive the benefits that Nokia has, you don’t need to construct your own outplacement programme from scratch. Our award-winning career coaches and 24/7 outplacement support have helped thousands of employees reach positive outcomes – whether that’s a new job or the formation of their own new company! Speak to us now to learn more.
Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org