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Outplacement: How to Transform Layoffs into New Connections

Learn everything Outplacement

Anyone who goes through a dismissal process knows how difficult it is to make that decision and communicate it to those involved. Therefore, more and more, humanized dismissal has been adopted by several companies. You can go beyond that and make a difference if you adopt outplacement.

Adopting strategies to help those fired by force majeure will maintain your company’s good employer brand. This will show empathy for the delicate moment and will meet the values ​​you preach so much.

Being fired generates negative feelings, even more so if it is something unexpected and the fired person was wearing the company shirt. Mitigate that feeling and avoid a brand detractor!

Learn more about outplacement, and understand its importance and its feasibility for your organization or work. Good reading!

What Is Outplacement

What is outplacement?

Outplacement is an aid to a former employee after his resignation. This is already a trend in human resources departments in several countries.

In practice, this means offering the former employee assistance at the time of transition, which is often very difficult and often uncertain.

Outplacement is a service, usually contracted by the organization that made the dismissal, and which, associated with training, helps the former employee to organize himself so that he can get a replacement.

Outplacement is an internationally regulated activity by the International Association of Career Consulting Firms (IACCF) and is described as a structured process that focuses on supporting the dismissed employee to take the next step in their career.

This support is usually structured around assistance from a professional, training, psychological support, and coaching techniques, among others.

This means that outplacement does not only help professionals to relocate themselves but can also help them to undertake or even seek another area of ​​activity.

It’s a win-win game that guides your company’s dismissal process with dignity.

How does it work?

Outplacement, as a holistic practice, unlike just professional outplacement, operates in different areas of the ex-employees life.

He will receive emotional help, infrastructure, financial planning, training, retirement plans, improve interpersonal relationships and even enable self-employment if he so desires. Everything will depend on how the company will handle the project with this professional.

For an outplacement program to be successfully implemented in a company, some processes must be strategically organized and led by a professional.

Check out a step-by-step of these processes:

Planning outplacement

Planning the dismissal process

Planning outplacement is just as important as executing it correctly.
In the beginning, when the decision is made, the company enters into a race to organize a complete dismissal process.

First, you need to plan and structure the dismissal meeting. We know very well that this is the most delicate moment. The breach of expectation is huge and if not managed well, it can generate revolt, anger, and nonconformity.

In this planning of the meeting, some points are important: the choice of the professional who will announce this dismissal, the economic, physical, and emotional evaluation of who will be fired, and the analysis of the impact that this will cause, both for the other employees and for the customers. and suppliers.

Moving more toward something less subjective, it is necessary to present the reasons for the dismissal — with objective, coherent, and very transparent reasons. It will also be important to define the financial and benefits package, which has already been pre-established or will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

And last, but not least, the post-dismissal technical processes such as key collection, delivery of work materials, bureaucracy, and others.

Here, we are still in the planning stage. After all, this is documented and agreed upon with everyone involved, then we will go to the meeting in question.

Employee termination process

At this point, the resignation is announced to the employee, which, as we have already instructed, must be done responsibly and in a private meeting.

As soon as the resignation announcement is made, the company that adopts the outplacement forwards the former employee to a conversation with the specialist in this activity.

It is at this point that the dismissed employee is guided by the outplacement specialist and led to express his feelings about what happened, his fears, and other related matters.

During this process, it is up to the outplacement professional to act as a psychologist – which can be one of the previous pieces of training. Overall, it will help the former employee deal emotionally with what happened.

Between the lines, the outplacement professional will need to work on rebuilding the former employee’s self-confidence, as well as allowing him to vent the negative emotions generated by this friction, often unexpected.

After this initial contact, where the direction of the situation is already clearer, the outplacement program must be presented to the former employee along with the individual relocation strategies.

Once this is done, a new conversation about career and personal life reflections begins, so that the outplacement professional understands the goals of this former employee and what will be the best path for him.

Finally, deliver a qualification plan/program and job or career transition support. This will be responsible for guiding the actions of someone who may still be lost in relation to the moment, so it must be done with great attention and empathy.

The next steps are to explain the processes that were mentioned above, with some more important details.

Outplacement: updates on perks and benefits

Communication and updates concerning benefits and perks

In this part of the process, HR must explain to the dismissed employee what are the next steps involved in the event, such as rights and concessions.

And this moment becomes even more important because it is when the company can offer other benefits in addition to those provided by law, such as:

  • Extension of the health plan;
  • Percentage of future earnings;
  • Right to use certain company resources;
  • Among others, depending on the company’s infrastructure.

The relocation process with outplacement

Having aligned all the procedures that involve a dismissal process, it is time for the professional to accept and start his/her replacement process.

According to the methodology advocated by the founder of Catho, Thomas Case, the outplacement process must involve the following steps:

  • Analysis of the entire career of the professional in question;
  • Description of your accomplishments within the company: responsibilities, roles, and others;
  • Preparation of a career plan;
    Development of a personal marketing plan;
  • Production and dissemination of updated curriculum, portfolio, and cards;
  • Training and preparation for participation in new recruitment and selection processes;
  • Training to participate in job interviews;
  • Guidance on negotiating proposals and salaries;
  • Updating information about the market, industry trends, and opportunities.

Thus, these steps must be included in that qualification plan/program and job or career transition support. As mentioned, it is important to have everything very well written and detailed so that the professional feels comfortable and used to it all.

HR and the other sectors involved in the outplacement program must always aim to ensure that the employee is terminated correctly and smoothly, supporting him or her in this stressful moment.

Outplacement can benefit both parties

The main advantages of outplacement

Outplacement benefits not just the organization, but everyone involved.
In addition to outplacement bringing competitive advantages to the company, it also promotes the appreciation of the human capital of the professionals involved.

Humanization in the dismissal process

Among the many benefits of outplacement, we can start with what directly concerns the fired person. The emotional support provided, along with the work of restoring confidence and self-esteem, already completely changes the scenario of a dismissal.

We know how bad it is to be fired for no reason on the part of the employee. It is something unexpected, which breaks expectations. Nothing fairer than proving that humanity still has salvation and that we can make a difference in every daily action.

The support that the company gives to the former employee helps him to face this delicate moment, which can often be compared to grief, even following its stages of denial, anger, negotiation, depression, and finally acceptance.

Thus, if the worker is treated with dignity, the company is more likely to rehire him after a crisis has passed, for example.

By investing in outplacement, your company will be reinforcing humanized values ​​and the recognition of its human resources policies, as it will have more transparent dismissal processes.

Reduces the risks of labor lawsuits

Going through the stages of grief or even malice, an ex-employee may go to court to pursue rights that he considers his own.

For some verbal agreement made in the past or even a misunderstanding, the company can spend about 8 months dragging a process and paying large amounts of money.

But that will not be the case for those who work with outplacement in firing their employees. It is clear that the processes of mitigating suffering, support, aid, and benefits will show that the intention was not to fire you and that this is an exceptional situation.

All the subsequent job advising, training, and preparation will quickly make you find a new job.

Outplacement: use it to improve your brand reputation

Improved employer brand reputation

Another point to be highlighted: is the organization’s employer branding. If well announced, whether in selection processes, internal company values, HR plans, or even in the press, using outplacement tools will bring good results to the company’s employer brand reputation.

As you may know, employer branding is a set of strategies that transform the company into a place sought after by the most talented professionals, regardless of the sector in which it operates.

If you’re interested, take a look at our Free Employer Branding Guide for Recruiters

With the demonstration of commitment to the well-being of its employees, the company increases its attractiveness in the market and improves several metrics of people management. It is worth checking!

Stronger organizational climate with outplacement

Rumors run quickly through the halls. When someone is fired without cause, their closest colleagues will know about the possible injustice and hear the worst version of the company. Remember the stages of grief? Here we are talking about anger.

Working hard in the planning — and, of course, in the action — of the outplacement program will mitigate any misunderstandings and distorted opinions. The company takes the “blame” and rushes to solve all problems, just as an adult should do with their problems.

Internally and externally, all this will be seen with great eyes.

You will also notice an improvement in the organizational climate and in the confidence of the company, including the former employee’s colleagues, who will feel more secure in working at your company knowing that they will not be fired overnight without support.

Another cool point to be highlighted is the increase in employee commitment, for the same reason above.

There is no denying that outplacement programs are extremely beneficial for the organization and all the public directly or indirectly involved with it.

We can already find successful cases of companies in the country that have embraced outplacement and have positively transformed their image. And the best of it all: making these companies desired by professionals and, consequently, customers.

And your company? Are you ready to adopt an outplacement program?

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