A lot can be said about outplacement, past, present and future – just as a lot can be said about HR practices. A recent series of conversation about the latter warrant some thoughts about the former.
I attended my first unconference the week before last, a wonderful event run by the fantastic @PerryTimms and @HR_Cass from the Connecting HR practice group. We were encouraged to have a series of discussions that span HR reality and practices; past, present and future.
Connecting HR coined a phrase-turn-hashtag: BraveHR. I can’t really define it myself, but we all gave defining it a good go last week. We spent time contemplating what this new beast, BraveHR, can be. Other than a stunning bit or art that collated a lot of the conversations we were having (kind curtsey of Creative Connection), we came up with a lot of practical (and some impractical) ideas about what HR can (and maybe should) aspire to achieve.
It only struck me now, while writing these lines, that the subject of outplacement is key to BraveHR. I’ve written before about how outplacement is a form of social responsibility that businesses can – and should – consider when making redundancies. I’ve written about how outplacement-done-well can positively transform communities and outplacement-done-as-lip-service (or no outplacement at all) can doom them.
BraveHR considers the bigger picture
It is exactly about this context – the bigger picture – that BraveHR resonates with me. BraveHR understands the impact that redundancies of even 10% of a town’s population will have on the local economy, sociology and demographics.
BraveHR will argue the necessity of giving those made redundant the skills to transform their capability to benefit their community. It will argue this because it knows that it, in turn, will contribute to the local economy that will contribute to the national economy which will help all the any and all businesses.
Outplacement is Social Investment
It’s true that when an organisation gets to the point where it has to make redundancies, it rarely has the resources to pay for outplacement. That statement is only half true. While redundancies that stem from businesses going into administration are devoid of means, many redundancies since 2009 were about downsizing. In fact, over the past few years I’ve seen organisations push for quick, no-fuss exists by paying employees off, rather than giving them the option to engage with a good outplacement programme.
I think many business leaders would be surprised to find out just how many people, when faced with redundancy, would opt for a smaller pay-off so long as it is complimented by good quality outplacement and career support.
By offering good quality outplacement, not only is the organisation saving money, it is also paying it forward to society: these people are likely to spent less time being unemployed (if at all), they regain motivation and focus more quickly and they learn to manage personal change more effectively.
Can you be brave with your HR? Will you add outplacement as a means of supporting your corporate social responsibility policy?
Let us know – comment below or get in touch!
Photo credit to Avolore via sxc.hu