Outplacement has moved on - have you?

08/21/2014

footprints on beach sunsetIs it time to rethink your Outplacement arrangement?

Have you recently reviewed the support you are providing to your employees when you let them go? Maybe you have worked with an Outplacement provider for a number of years, or you may have inherited a contract from a previous HR team. Either way, you may be utilising a service that doesn’t serve the needs of your employees in today’s job market and you may be spending more than you need to.

Whether you have imminent redundancies or not, reviewing existing contracts may enable you to improve services and save money. So where do you start in terms of assessing the value and investment in Outplacement?

Support for few or many?

How do you select who receives outplacement support? Do you reserve budget to support only those at a senior level? Or would you prefer to spread the budget to offer support to all departing employees regardless of function or level? Navigating the job market is tricky for everyone, regardless of level. By removing eligibility criteria and widening the offering to support all staff has a number of benefits. Most notably, a wider protection of the employer brand and boosting morale of those that remain within the company. We have all seen the effects of social media on employer brands when disgruntled employees express their discontent. By ensuring all departing staff are offered support, the risk of repercussion is reduced.

One size fits all or tailored personal support?

What level of support do you provide? It might seem a good idea to offer workshops on generic job hunting techniques, but this is generally a one off intervention that doesn’t address issues specific to each individual’s situation. Face to face is often seen as the preferred choice, but by committing to pre-arranged consultations, the support becomes inflexible and restrictive. It prevents support being delivered in a timely manner, when it’s most needed, e.g. filling in an application form to meet a deadline or preparing for an interview. They can also be costly for the employee, especially if they include travelling to and from appointments.

Who delivers the support? Do you actually know who is delivering the support? In most cases, the career coaches will be part of an associate network, i.e. not working directly for the Outplacement provider. In these instances the type and level of support delivered can obviously vary on a case by case basis. At Renovo, we have our own in-house team of award winning career coaches delivering consistent, practical and tangible advice using experience from within recruitment and in-house recruiter teams.

How much support is available, when and for how long?  Is the support provided on a re-active or pro-active basis? Do your employees have access to their own dedicated coach whenever they need them or is it limited to a set number of meetings or hours? At Renovo, we believe unlimited support delivered by a dedicated career coach offers the employee the best chance of moving on to the right role, quickly. It enables individuals to work at their own pace, tailoring the support to their specific requirements as needed on their journey back into employment. We do not complicate matters by offering pick and mix solutions with complex credit systems. Our unique model is simply priced and quick and easy to set up.

Is your Outplacement programme fit for today?

Times are changing, with over 50% of employers now considering offsite working to be standard practice. Given the choice, many employees would prefer a more ‘on-demand’ style of support. This does not mean ‘self-service’ where the employee would be left to navigate their way through an online library of resources, but rather a holistic approach that combines personalised one-to-one support, and access to e-learning and online content to support their journey. We no longer need face to face meetings to reach a positive outcome. Although it’s a step change in delivery, individuals do engage in this way, it works and it’s more cost effective than using face to face support. Far from encouraging the de-personalisation of outplacement, remote delivery gives us the opportunity to provide a more personal programme of support that can adapt and evolve to suit the needs of displaced employees.

The ultimate test – ROI

Understanding the effectiveness of the support you provide and how that translates into return on investment has always been difficult with outplacement. How do you measure the effect providing outplacement has on the employer brand, employee engagement and retention, future talent attraction and avoiding legal mitigation?

When utilising outplacement support, you need to know you are providing something that your employees actually want. We measure this by looking at engagement levels: it’s as simple as monitoring take up, levels of interaction on and off line and hours of coaching received. Of course it is of equal importance that the support provided is actually effective and this is measured by monitoring resettlement rates. On average, our clients return to work after 58 days and 84% have a positive outcome within the 90 day programme.

We find that in order to drive initial take up and ongoing engagement requires clear communication, and we see that part of the outplacement provider’s role is to articulate and communicate clearly with affected employees (in partnership with the Employer). We provide marketing support and account management services to ensure support is promoted, understood and taken advantage of. This includes clear reporting on the account including take up, engagement levels and direct feedback from employees (on an anonymous basis).

Are you making best use of your budget or spending too much?

If your contract hasn’t been reviewed for a while, there’s every chance that the support you are providing is costing you more than it needs to and may not be ticking all of the boxes for your employees.

By adapting the nature of support provided, you may be able to offer more personalised support to more of your employees for less than your current spend.

Choosing a remotely delivered programme enables you to save money whilst providing a one-to-one tailored level of support, to the many, not the few.

If you would like to find out more about our programme of support and see real life examples of how this works – please get in touch.

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 info@renovo.uk.com

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