Layoffs are hard and they always give rise to uncertainty and fear. Impacted employees are affected physically and psychologically - experiencing a roller coaster of emotions, and often stress from immediate financial hardship. What most companies don’t realize is that layoffs also have a larger impact on performance affecting all key stakeholders – existing employees, clients, community and the brand. If conducted poorly, it can cause a huge negative ripple-effect affecting future success of the company.
For example, in a recent event, the CEO of a startup Better.com, fired 900 of his employees in a cold one-way announcement via Zoom. In another incident in May 2020, at the beginning of COVID-19 outbreak, Uber laid off 3,500 employees via a Zoom call. In both these instances, the employer did not choose to communicate their decision to the employees effectively. This led to an immediate drastic drop in the company share prices and its key stakeholders had to endure intense criticism that will continue to impact their public brand image for years to come.
Sometimes, layoffs are inevitable - whether it be company restructuring, financial stress, mergers & acquisitions, changes in strategy or employee performance. But it must be done right. A great example of conducting a layoff right is Brian Chesky at Airbnb.
An outplacement services partner like CMP can guide companies through this process and help protect the company through compassionate outplacement services.
What are Outplacement Services?
Outplacement services or career transition services are specialized coaching programs that support exiting employees with the right resources to land new jobs. Outplacement services offer immense value such as career coaching tools, job search trends, financial planning, webinars, virtual training and even personalized career coaches that can truly assist longtime employees in facing the future.
Being let go is a traumatic experience and must be demonstrated with compassion and understanding. If you are at the point of conducting a layoff, the key practices mentioned below can help you reduce the negative impact of a layoff, while protecting your company with outplacement services.
- Outplacement Services Builds Trust
Provide honest and transparent information to your employees about the business problem and inform early if layoffs may be necessary. By choosing to communicate a crucial business decision with compassion and care, you demonstrate respect and increase trust of the remaining employees.
Empathy is key. Be authentic in your communication and address the most important feelings employers face with utmost respect and courtesy. Help them make a successful career transition by offering outplacement services.
- Outplacement Helps Mitigate Risks and Costs
Be fair and determined to follow your company’s legal and ethical guidelines when deciding who to layoff. It is crucial to make a business case for each layoff and apply the selection criteria equally across all departments.
Supporting laid off employees with outplacement services helps speed their job process and reduces costs associated with unemployment tax claims, and severance among other expenses. It also helps mitigate the risk of wrongful termination which could become expensive and time-consuming.
- Outplacement Services Improve Productivity and Morale
When you determine the need for a reduction-in-force (RIF), make it manageable for employees by discussing a reasonable package with outplacement services. Employees are usually anxious about their future and offering outplacement services creates a desirable, employee-centric culture that makes the remaining employees feel motivated, and secure leading to more improved productivity and morale.
If your business is struggling or having to make the difficult choice to layoff, partnering with an outplacement firm like CMP will be a valuable investment. CMP offers cost-effective and personalized outplacement services across the nation and can help you provide compassionate outplacement services at every step of the process. Click here to learn more.