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SMART Outplacement: 3 Ways to Manage Relevant Threats

SMART Outplacement: 3 Ways to Manage Relevant Threats

In the age of Facebook and Glassdoor, savvy companies must attend to the very present threat of a media-based company brand implosion following a layoff. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, how many “big” clients you have or how many offices you have around the country. Word-of-mouth communication is swift and powerful. Your company brand is vulnerable without leveraging outplacement services.

By approaching your reduction in force with a combination of strategy and genuine compassion, you can maintain— and even improve—your company brand’s reputation. When creating your SMART outplacement plan, consider these 3 RELEVANT ways to manage online threats with outplacement services:

1. Take Care of Your Separated Employees

In the business world, there are few things more destructive than a disgruntled ex-employee with a Facebook account. The key to helping your separated employees move quickly from disgruntled to empowered is to provide them with outstanding outplacement services. They’ll likely still post a status update about being let go, but because they know you care about their future, they probably won’t try to take your brand down with them. Envision the words and phrases you want separated employees to use when they talk about your company’s brand. What support will it take to make this a reality?

2. Communicate Well with Retained Employees

As soon as you’ve conducted your layoff notifications, your next step must be to communicate the changes to your remaining team members. Regardless of what you say, they’ll experience a whole range of emotions: guilt, anxiety, relief, fear and more. By explaining the services you’re providing to their departing coworkers, you’ll help keep morale and productivity high— along with the overall sentiment about your company. Be transparent, but add plenty of optimism. You retained those employees for a reason; don’t lose them to unnecessary panic and a loss of confidence in your brand.


Job candidates under 40 are 61% more likely to relate job consideration with employer brand. Furthermore, turnover rates are 28% lower if a company has a reputable brand.1


3. Pay Attention to What’s Being Said About Your Company Brand Online

Some of the most important conversations happening about your reduction in force are the ones around the virtual water cooler—the Internet. You can’t manage your online reputation unless you know what’s being said about you, so redouble your monitoring efforts:

  • If any of your separated employees are administrators for your company’s social media accounts, make sure you have a clear and intentional plan for when their access will be cancelled.
  • Set up Google alerts with your company’s name combined with words like fired and layoffs.
  • Check for reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed and even Yelp.
  • Ask your retained employees to give you a heads up if they see anything questionable.
  • Consult with your company’s marketing team to determine if and how to respond to negative social media attention.

Managing the relevant threat of social media is just one piece of a SMART outplacement plan. For more SMART outplacement insights, download our eBook: The SMART & Compassionate Guide to Reducing Your Staff.

1 Global Recruiting Trends, LinkedIn Hiring Solutions Insights


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