5 Reasons to Offer Outplacement Services during Layoffs

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Negosentro | 5 Reasons to Offer Outplacement Services during Layoffs | Few workplace scenarios are more difficult than laying off an employee — no one wants to be laid off, and honestly, no one wants to do the laying off. But while there may be only so much you can do to help ease the transition for your newly terminated employee, outplacement assistance can be a huge help to you both. Here are five reasons why it’s worth the cost to offer outplacement services as part of your severance package.

1) Protect Your Reputation

Layoffs, especially mass layoffs, can do significant damage to your brand. Offering outplacement assistance to help terminated employees transition out of the company shows that you’re committed to your core values, and that you care for your employees and treat them with dignity and respect, even when they’re no longer a part of your organization. When it comes time to hire again, more qualified candidates will be attracted to your organization because you’ll have proven that you care about employee growth and development.

2) Help Former Employees Move on Faster

Ideally, when you lay someone off, you want that person to find new employment quickly. The sooner they move into a new position, the more you’ll save in unemployment claims. Former employees are less likely to become disgruntled if they’re focused on moving forward and have an action plan to reach the next stage of their careers. 

3) Keep Up Morale

Layoffs are hard on the whole organization, even — perhaps especially — on those who remain behind. Rumors swirl during layoffs, and everyone is waiting for the ax to fall on them. Seeing their colleagues receive outplacement assistance as part of their severance reassures those who remain behind that if they’re called into a meeting with HR, they won’t be left completely out in the cold, but will be given the guidance they need to move forward productively and succeed in the job market.

And many of your employees need that guidance. Those that have been with you for a long time might not understand the new world of LinkedIn profiles and online job applications. Even more recent hires may need help brushing up their interview skills, polishing their resumes, and drafting their cover letters. Some may need advice on how to frame transferable skills or make the jump to a new career. Knowing that they’ll be supported if they are laid off allows the employees you plan to keep to focus on their work, and not on browsing the job boards.

4) Minimize Unemployment Claims and Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

Unemployment claims can get expensive, especially if you have a lot of former employees claiming them for a long time. Displaced employees are entitled to their benefits, to be sure, but if you can get them to claim fewer of those benefits, you’ll save money in the long run. Outplacement services can accomplish that by shortening the amount of time displaced employees spend on the job market. For one thing, using outplacement assistance keeps employees focused on the future, and gives them actionable steps they can take towards landing interviews and, eventually, a new position. 

Displaced employees are also less likely to sue for wrongful termination if they feel respected during the layoff process, and offering outplacement assistance can facilitate that. Outplacement services keep displaced employees from feeling resentful enough to contemplate an unwarranted lawsuit. Furthermore, an employee who is focusing on finding a new job and then settling into that job doesn’t typically have the time or inclination to worry about a lawsuit.

5) Ease Emotional Distress

A newly displaced employee can be expected to have some feelings about their job loss, and the employees doing the letting go can also get pretty emotional about it. When you make outplacement assistance part of your standard severance package, the sting can be somewhat lessened by the knowledge that the outgoing employee will be supported in their transition to a new job.

No one wants to have to lay off employees, but sometimes there’s no other way to cut costs. When you have to let an employee go, offer outplacement assistance. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s a smart business move.