How to support your employees - Career progression

Outplacement now forms part of many organisations overall talent management strategy. Organisations demonstrate that they value their employees and want to support them in finding a new role, which strengthens their position as an employer of choice. So what the options are and where is the value?

Demonstrating that you value your employees

Over the past two years, outplacement firms and those offering career management programmes have seen significant increases in the demand for their services from organisations looking to support departing employees. And with unemployment figures continuing to rise, albeit at a slower rate than previous months, it is likely that this trend will continue for some time.

Outplacement support provides an individualised approach to job search, giving people that intangible “edge” that other available support cannot. Yet, there is a cost associated with providing outplacement programmes and at a time when organisations are looking at reducing operating costs, deciding on the level of support to make available can be a difficult one.

Understanding your employees needs

Most outplacement providers offer a range of services, from one-to-one programmes, group workshops or resources centres. Of course, available budget will always be one of the main deciding factors when selecting outplacement programmes.

But organisations need to consider the individual needs of their employees and seek to understand how these will be met by the proposed programmes and also how they compare to other forms of available support. Invariably, depending on the individual, some levels of support will be more suitable than others.

One-to-one outplacement support

Almost all outplacement providers will offer one-to-one programmes. Matching the individual with the most appropriate career coach, one-to-one programmes offer a personalised approach to career management. Individuals are encouraged to explore their career aspirations in detail and put in place a clear plan to help them to achieve it.

One-to-one programmes that are not time bound offer the greatest flexibility and allow individuals to work at their own pace, look at all options open to them, assessing what is the right choice for them and deciding on the best way to achieve it. This type of approach is vital for those individuals considering a career change or for those looking to make a move into more technical or senior role.

The assumption that this level of support comes at an extortionate price is incorrect. At Penna, we recognise that organisations are invariably working to a budget. The flexible nature of our programmes allows us to tailor support to meet corporate budgets whilst still providing individuals with the personalised and flexible support they need.

Group programs

An alternative to one-to-one programmes and often a more cost effective solution when large numbers are involved are group programmes. Often run as workshops over a number of days, these fast paced workshops are ideal for those who know what they want from their next career move but need brush up or understand the core principles of job search.

An added benefit of “open” workshops, where attendees from a number of organisations come together, is the opportunity for people to network and share experiences and ideas with one another. For those employees who may require additional support, outplacement companies will usually offer additional one-to-one time to cover specific areas that individuals may require further support on.

Resource centers

Where large numbers are involved and the organisation needs employees to maintain production levels or shift patterns, one option increasingly being considered is resource centres. Set up on the sponsoring organisations premises, resource centres allow employees to access support during their working day, reducing the need for individuals to travel to an office to attend a workshop or meet with their coach.

Linking up with local employees and JobCentre Plus, resource centres are also an effective way to bring a more in-depth understanding of the local job market and local opportunities to employees.

Protecting your employer brand

From an organisational perspective, publically demonstrating the support you are providing to those that are leaving can have a positive effect on those who remain. Morale is maintained and retention is increased.

By providing outplacement programmes, organisations clearly demonstrate that they truly value their people and are willing to invest in their futures. And as with all investments, organisations will want to be clear on the value that it will bring to their employees and also the organisation. Key to this is understanding what options are available and how well they meet the needs of your employees.

Report by: Bev White, Managing Director, Penna Plc.

Back to Industry Articles