29 March 2010 #Employment
Following on from the article "Trimming The Fat", the statement that "handling a restructure or any other form of cost-cutting exercise properly can go some way to help protect your reputation as a good employer and to maintain staff morale" is perhaps the most important thought to take away with you. Unfortunately, doing that properly doesn`t always come without financial outlay.
However, there is life after redundancy - and I can personally vouch for that. What helped me most of all was the provision of outplacement support: and outplacement support isn`t just appropriate for those employees who may be leaving an organisation - it has a valuable contribution to make to how those who survive a restructuring exercise feel about their employer.
So, what exactly is outplacement? Outplacement is practical career continuation support from professional consultants - support which is designed to help an employee move to the next stage in his/her career. Outplacement support is also often provided to help ‘survivors` through significant corporate change.
All outplacement programmes - whether group or individual - are designed to help employees focus on the options available and make the right choices for the future - and that could include advising on how to set up a new business, returning to study for a change of career direction as well as looking for a new job.
However, if someone does want to find a new job, outplacement consultancy will provide guidance on how best to do that for each individual.
All organisations face change at some stage, whether on a large scale or just involving individual employees - how they handle that change will have a profound effect on the corporate image and employer brand.
Using outplacement at times of change within the organisation can help to smooth the process for all those involved: there are three key reasons to use outplacement:
Managing The Outplacement Process
If the organisation is able to afford the services of an outplacement consultancy, this needs to be planned for as early as possible - in particular, those employees who are ‘at risk` will quickly become disenchanted if they have to wait for advice on, say, whether they should opt for voluntary severance or hope that they survive the restructuring process.
In any event, the outplacement process should be a joint one between the organisation and the outplacement provider - remember that the outplacement provider has done this before and can offer valuable guidance on how best to manage the process.
Looking After The Survivors
How do ‘survivors` feel? They may feel:
They may also suffer from:
However, if they can see that their colleagues have been well supported during the restructuring process, they are more likely to be reassured about the future.
It is also important to consider the effect of restructuring on the organisation and research indicates that:
So, during any restructuring - and potential redundancy situation, organisations need to do as much as they can to ensure a positive working environment remains after the process has been completed. It is worth bearing in mind that:
Employers also need to remember that:
In conclusion, therefore, a positive working environment following a restructuring exercise is more likely to be generated:
Forbury People Consultant
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