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Outplacement Assistance Could Save Your Reputation–Even During Layoffs

By: Anees Saddiq


Photo of sad layoff dismissed worker mature jobless guy lost job pack personal things own staff last working day world crisis ruined career boss fired him bad mood modern office indoors

When you’re in the middle of the layoffs, the last thing you want to do is spend more money, right? The whole point of layoffs is to cut costs, isn’t it? But the cost of outplacement assistance could be well worth it in terms of controlling the damage to your brand and reputation that layoffs can wreak.

Outplacement assistance helps laid-off employees transition out of your company and into new roles at other firms. Not only is that the kind thing to do for your outgoing employees, who have given you years of loyal service, but it also keeps morale up among those who remain. You’ll also remain attractive to top candidates, who want to work for companies where they know they’ll be valued — even as their service is coming to an end.

Get Outgoing Employees into New Roles Faster

The number one way in which layoffs can damage your company’s reputation occurs when laid-off employees take too long to find new jobs. The longer they remain on the job market, the more likely they are to become disgruntled and disillusioned with their former company. Laid-off employees need to be transitioned into new roles as soon as possible, so they don’t have time to sit around at home, brooding about how their former company screwed them over and leaving negative reviews on Glassdoor and similar sites.

Of course, it’s better for your former employees to get new roles faster, too. They’ll get off unemployment sooner (and that will save your company money, too), and get back to feeling a sense of purpose and structure instead of sitting around the house all day, watching daytime TV in between bouts of job-hunting. The sooner a former employee has been transitioned into a new role, the sooner they can forget about any lingering hard feelings they may have about the layoff, and move on with their lives, without badmouthing your company to others in the candidate pool.

Keep Remaining Employees from Jumping Ship

Another risk you run during layoffs is that of having the employees you planned to keep getting antsy and jumping ship anyway, out of concern that their jobs will be next on the chopping block. It’s hard to keep morale up when layoffs are ongoing and no one knows if they’ll be next. But you can at least show everyone that your company cares about what happens to employees even after they’re laid off.

Offering outplacement services to laid-off employees reassures those who haven’t been called into a meeting with HR yet that, should they be next in line, they’ll at least get some support in transitioning to new roles. This can give a sense of security that will assuage fears enough to encourage higher retention among remaining employees. Even — especially — the smallest companies can benefit. Where layoffs leave larger voids, outplacement assistance is even more essential. Teams in smaller firms tend to be tighter knit, and remaining employees will reward your sense of responsibility to their outgoing employees with increased loyalty.

Safeguard Your Ability to Attract New Talent When Hiring Starts Again

Eventually, good times will come again and you’ll want to hire new talent. When that day comes, you don’t want the best candidates getting scared away by your reputation for laying off employees and leaving them with no guidance to help them transition into new roles. But when you have a reputation for doing right by your outgoing employees and giving them outplacement assistance to ease the transition to a new role, top candidates will take notice.

The best candidates feel they deserve to work in corporate environments where their contributions are fully valued, and where they’re treated like indispensable team members even as they’re being, well, dispensed of. Outplacement assistance can go a long way towards reassuring top candidates that your company fosters the kind of corporate culture they’re looking for, although it is just one piece of the larger puzzle.

Botching layoffs can really do a number on your company’s reputation. Safeguard your corporate rep by offering outplacement assistance to those you’re letting go. It will ease the minds of those left behind and help laid-off employees focus on moving forward, not griping about your company. With outplacement assistance, your former employees are better equipped to turn a layoff into an opportunity, and that’s good news all around.

Published: April 27, 2021

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