How to make sure you are getting value (and value for money) from your outplacement provider or career management coaches.
Outplacement and career transition solutions vary greatly in what they offer, and as the competition increases, more and more companies are looking to provide value for money services. I’d like to focus in this post on the highest-end solution, a dedicated outplacement and career management service located on site, with unlimited access to all staff.
I can imagine many of you would think this is a very expensive service, but when broken down to the value you – as an organisation will receive, as well as the value those using the service will receive, it probably offers the most value for money and the greatest return – again, to both your organisation and the people who use the service.
These are grouped into two: the top half focuses around the value and outplacement content to the service users; the bottom half focuses on the value to your organisation.
Meet and Greet
One of the most critical parts of a successful career transition or outplacement solution – engagement. This is a series of short 1:1 sessions that introduce the consultants and the service to each and every one of the people who may be using the service.
One to One sessions (coaching and mentoring)
The bread (minus butter) of an outplacement/career transition service: these are individual coaching and mentoring sessions, allowing the individuals to explore their options in a confidential environment. Our experience shows that these sessions help move the people undergoing the change away from disgruntlement and anger and towards a focus on the future. This includes not only people losing their jobs, but also people whose jobs may be changing due to the nature of the organisational change.
This is the butter of the solution, delivering career management content in sessions where larger numbers of people contribute to overall learning experience. These can include workshops such as: marketing yourself; understanding the job market; effective job searching techniques; interview skills; business start up basics and pre-retirement planning. These are designed to give people the tools and skills to progress their careers as well as increase confidence and motivation.
One of the most prominent and value-increasing features: this is a room on site that allows people free, confidential access to resources and help. It is usually open during the week (we cover night shifts too!) and has books, newspapers, computers, leaflets and telephones; all of which are to be used by the people going through the transition in achieve their goals.
These are refreshed twice a week. They include jobs that the people who are using the service have mentioned as desirable and are “hunted” from a variety of sources (the internet, newspapers and personal and professional networks) by the very consultants who write the content for the effective job searching techniques workshop.
Networking with local businesses
This is a powerful and important element of the dedicated service which adds tremendous value to everyone: getting in touch and engaging with local business groups, local employers and specialist industries that can provide additional support. These can manifest into recruitment fairs from which everyone benefits: the people who are leaving have viable job prospects in the area or field of expertise, the potential employers get new potential employees at no cost to themselves, the local economy and community usually does not need to suffer from a cohort of unemployed and your organisation is hailed to have managed a difficult time very successfully.
Sourcing funding when (and where) available
This part is very important because it may help take some of the financial burden off your organisation, without damaging the quality, level and accessibility of service to the individuals. There are a number of funding agencies who offer financial support to individuals who want to make themselves more employable, or organisations that are faced with the possibility of making redundancies. Why not take advantage of it when you can? Your outplacement or career transition solution should help you through the maze of funding.
Service Level Agreement
As the paying client, we agree metrics and standards under which the service is provided. This can include a “bums on seats” metric, uptake statistics, usage records. However, to increase the effect outplacement and career transition has on the people, organisation, community and economy these can be extended to the targets that make a real difference.
End-to-end project management
This is probably where the most practical value to you as a client is: this means every single aspect of the project is run by the outplacement/career transition solution. From assessing needs, evaluating possible solutions, resourcing, running risk assessments throughout the process, managing the logistics of the operation and evaluating performance. All the while reporting back to you on progress without you having to stop doing your own job.
Although, technically, this is part of the end-to-end project management, it is very important to mention on its own: the service, like any service, needs promoting. This may mean hanging posters on the site, this may mean writing on your intranet or employee newsletter. This may be hands-on promotion – going to the shop floor and talking to people.
It, too, is a part of project management, but is particularly important. Making sure all line management is appraised (based on their need and want to know). This is particularly critical if your organisation has to continue operation while the redundancy/change is underway and productivity has to be maintained and in unionised environments where stakes are usually higher in such delicate situation.
Yes, this is a bit of a shameless plug to how we run our dedicated solutions, but we do believe there is space in our industry to offer focused services that benefit the people, your organisation and the community as a whole. Our experience shows how important good outplacement is to communities and the local economy and not just to the people who use it or the organisations who paid for them.
Let us know what you think by posting below or by getting in touch.