What should I expect from an outplacement programme?
Outplacement programmes vary in content, depending on the circumstances of the people being made redundant, their needs and – ultimately – your budget.
Generally speaking, you can expect an initial meeting in which personal situation, circumstances, needs and aspirations are discussed and an initial action plan is made. Then, a number (as little as two, as many as six) workshops are made available, in topics including: CV writing, Job searching techniques, Making the most out of the internet for employment, Interview skills, Starting up a business, Retirement planning, and more.
Time, budget and service users permitting, there would be another one-to-one session (or follow-up that can also be done via email or Skype) to help tweak and amend the action plan and progress the people to their next goal.
We posted a blog about what to expect from a dedicated outplacement solution – you may want to have a quick read there to see what else can be offered through outplacement.
What should I expect from an outplacement provider?
You can expect as much (or as little) from an outplacement provider. This should be a guiding light for you before you actually pick one. Having delivered outplacement within a number of organisations, we know that some organisations want to have a weekly updates with reports, figures, progress and uptake; whereas others are happy for the outplacement provider (and those using it) to go about their business without getting involved too much.
You should consider whether you would like to have any form of reports from your outplacement provider, especially since one of the benefits of outplacement is creating a positive air following the difficult and trying times of making redundancies. You should also consider your actual involvement in delivering outplacement: you may want to take part in the logistical side of it, or you may want to manage training (or up-skilling) in-house. Alternatively, you may not have the time to, in which case, you need an end-to-end outplacement service.
In the second half of our blog post, what to expect from a dedicated outplacement solution, you will find some pointers about what to expect from a provider.
Why should I invest in outplacement when the people are leaving?
Good question! Many other sites talk about the morale of staff. And – first-hand experience – it is true. However, a good outplacement programme has far reaching outcomes than “just” morale. Although I am yet to find real academic information about this, my experience shows that communities suffer less when outplacement is provided. Both from a business perspective and the human perspective. A good outplacement programme helps the community rebuild and regenerate itself rather than crumble and disperse under the economical and emotional devastation of redundancies.
Furthermore, a clear benefit of running a good (and well publicised) outplacement programme is the Halo effect. From a pure, egotistical, brand-orientated view, doing something good helps you ward the effects of having done something “bad”. (I’m using inverted commas around “bad” because redundancies are not meant to be a bad thing. If anything, they are a means of keeping the business alive, thus preserving more jobs for the future. However, it cannot be helped but be perceived as bad as the little people are the ones hurt from the move).
We have done a bit of research about the academics of the benefits of outplacement in this post.
Let’s talk logistics: where will you deliver it and how much will it cost?
Outplacement can be delivered on your site, it can be delivered at a location convenient for the people using the service, it can take place purely online. The only place physical meetings cannot take place, is a person’s home (that’s due to risk issues).
A dedicated service is likely to be placed on site, where employees can access it freely. A coaching-based solution can be delivered as an on-demand service where the coach and coachee arrange for meetings in mutually convenient locations.
Online models can be quite powerful as well. Adding to the traditional e-Learning and resource centre model you might want to add virtual training rooms and video conferences where the service users can access a fully-interactive-with-a-human-touch programme from anywhere in the world.
Costs vary between providers and models. Some will charge you a daily rate (which can vary from £250 per day to £1,500 per day), some will charge you a package rate (these vary even more, depending on how many hours of group sessions, 1:1 sessions, access to additional resources and more).
In an attempt to simplify that, our pricing model is likely to be determined by the number of people you would like us to engage with as well as the use of the dedicated solution or end-to-end project management. Because we believe that outplacement is a responsible way for managing redundancies and we know its value to you and the community, we would work with you to find the value you would place on its success and build a programme that suits your budget. Please get in touch to learn more.
Do I need to do anything before arranging for outplacement?
You should treat outplacement like any other training course you buy for your employees. It’s important you know what you need to get from it in order to make sure you find the right supplier and the right programme. It might be helpful to know what the people going through the redundancy are expecting from outplacement and what uptake numbers are likely to be; you should identify people in the organisation that will help or hinder the programme; have a specification of what you would want the provider to do and outline an engagement and communication strategy.
If you would like more information about how to prepare for outplacement, you might want to read our blog post: Outplacement wanted, let’s prepare.