Good employers stay engaged, even through redundancy.

Good employers stay engaged, even through redundancy.

Hudson Career Guidance & Outplacement

The economic impact of the coronavirus crisis is filtering through to Belgian employers. There is no avoiding it: there will a restructuring of organisations. In early May a Hudson Survey asked 149 Belgian organisations how they would deal with redundancies. The survey revealed that some 80% of respondents were considering offering outplacement (voluntary or otherwise).

80% is a remarkably high figure, given that employers are not always under a legal obligation to offer outplacement for their employees. Outplacement is a requirement only in the case of employees who are entitled to notice of at least 30 weeks or are over 45 years of age with at least 1 year's seniority. And it only applies to those on a permanent employment contract.

On an outplacement pathway a redundant employee receives support from a professional coach to find new, sustainable employment that suits his/her talents, skill set, values and interests. It also offers the space needed to process the redundancy.

Solution for employee and employer alike

We can only encourage employers to offer outplacement. Not only does it help a redundant employee, or coachee, along the path to a new challenge, but it enhances the employer's image. It sends out a clear signal to existing and potential employees: i.e. we care about you. Not only when you are on the payroll, but when there is a parting of ways.

The coronavirus crisis has forced many organisations to apply the brakes to recruitment, and this has resulted in a shortage of vacancies. It is as important as ever for candidates to position themselves well in this competitive labour market and so win a potential employer over. For that reason coachees are taught during individual sessions on their outplacement pathways to do things such as broaden their self-insight, showcase their strengths to maximum effect and draw on their professional network in their search for a new career.

Anyone who has ever been on an outplacement pathway will agree: it brings your own market value into focus. It is an educational process, in which the employee takes the time to examine himself. He discovers who he is and what he really wants. In the process the outplacement coach acts as sounding board, mirror and lever. He helps the employee to prepare for job interviews, assessments and tests. In essence: the coachee is readied and better prepared to tackle the labour market. Having been made redundant the employee’s chances of finding sustainable, new employment improve noticeably.

Outplacement as part and parcel of employer branding

Outplacement is of benefit not just to the redundant employee. There can be no doubt that organisations have as much to gain from offering an outplacement pathway. If faced with the need to downsize, an employer can make a difference when parting ways with its employees. This feeds into the Employer Value Proposition, because it reflects the business culture. The employer signals to everyone who works (or is considering working) for the company that the company takes a healthy approach to career management, from onboarding to offboarding.

Taking care of anyone who is made redundant is an instant illustration of the human approach. With this human touch the organisation lets it be known that it is committed to its employees, in good times and in bad. And that in turn is a strong signal to everyone who works in the company. They will continue to work with a higher level of engagement.

Certainly in these times, organisations are having to adopt a difficult spread of redundancies and recruitments. They are having to operate at two speeds, as it were. On one hand, they may find themselves having to let people go. On the other, they are constantly searching for the right talent to fill the organisation's crucial roles. When the first group is offered outplacement, they could well become ambassadors in persuading the second group to apply for jobs.

Thinking of offering Outplacement?

Is your organisation facing the need to restructure and considering redundancies, possibly as a result of the coronavirus crisis? Hudson has custom outplacement formulas for your employees. We offer programmes in line with the legal framework and formulas that let you offer outplacement on a voluntary basis. We see every coaching pathway as a unique process based on the needs of the people we coach. Our experts have the knowledge and experience needed to turn over a meaningful new page in the wake of a redundancy.

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