For anyone representing the employer, the role is straightforward: you’re there to ensure the process goes smoothly, to protect their interests and, ultimately, to limit the costs. Which might make the notion of inserting extras or engaging new services seem, for some, like madness.
Currently, anecdotal evidence is telling us that the cost of an employee leaving is growing as employees are requesting more money as part of their ‘package’. The main reason for this is that they know it will take longer to get a new role and naturally want more money to survive this period of uncertainty.
You might reasonably ask why, when every cost is to be scrutinised and every margin squeezed, would you suggest that your client spends more on outgoing employees?
The best way to answer that would be to look at all the things an ‘outgoing employee’ represents.
First, if an employee is ‘outgoing’, they are likely to be in the middle of a consultation or negotiation process. At its most basic, Career Transition Support can be a useful bargaining chip. But more importantly, it can help shift the dynamic or change the tone of discussions.
Consider the terminology: 'Outplacement' / ‘Transition’ is the key here. By aiming to help that employee go from one chapter of their career to the next – not from employment to unemployment – the process is no longer focused solely on the manner of their departure. It’s a chance to step back from the acrimonious or adversarial, creating a more amicable agreement. It could even make sure that bridges aren’t burnt, and that the door is kept open for a return later down the line.
Next, while an employee may be ‘outgoing’, they’re still an employee. There’s still a duty of care. There’s still a right way to treat your people. And, even if the relationship is shattered – when bridges are burnt, and the door locked for good – there’s another party to consider: the employees who remain. If there’s even the slightest perception that their employer has done anything other than treat its people well, then it can cloud the morale and performance of the existing workforce. It could even pave the way for a few to check the job boards in their spare moments.
Then, once that ‘outgoing employee’ becomes an ‘ex-employee’, what happens? They may keep the reasons or details of their departure to themselves, but they’ll likely share their opinions of their former employer with anyone who will listen. Your client has a chance to put something in the plus column of their reputation, even when parting ways with their people.
It’s these gestures that go a long way to building strong employer brands. Make an investment in building a reputation for treating staff fairly (regardless of the circumstances) and your client will reap the returns when it comes to recruitment – making quality candidates more eager to join their business.
Beyond brand-building and corporate responsibility, there’s simply doing the right thing. While there are those times when an employer may have to compromise their values, choosing profit (or perhaps savings) over principles, this doesn’t have to be one of them. With the value that Outplacement /Career Transition Support can offer, doing the right thing ethically means doing the right thing financially – in the long run.
Many HR & Employment Law professionals know Outplacement / Career Transition Support is a worthwhile investment with tangible returns. Where some see an extra cost, others see an opportunity to convert thorny issues into valuable assets – to add value where there was none before. Trust me, your client will thank you for it.