HR Topics  Leadership Tips
SMART Outplacement: Specific, People-Centered Planning in 4 Key Areas
Staff reductions involve multiple moving parts. You make gut-wrenching decisions about who’s being let go, HR drafts severance agreements, and your legal department assesses compliance with federal labor regulations. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Merely 25% of organizations have a formal offboarding process in place.
As your company reduces its staff, even the smallest of details matter. With adequate preparation, you can keep an eye on all of those moving parts in a way that’s compassionate and empowering to everyone involved.
To start your SMART outplacement plan, you need to get SPECIFIC in these 4 key areas.
1. Where/when will notification meetings happen?
Privacy and confidentiality are very important, but the manager’s office is not the place to hold the meeting. Select a neutral ground like a conference room. This allows the manager to end the meeting by getting up and leaving after the meeting is complete – avoiding the awkwardness of a protracted conversation.
2. Who’s handling the notifications?
It helps if this person is provided with talking points before the meeting. There are five key areas to cover. Additional information can be provided based on the affected employee’s response and questions, but be sure the manager discusses:
a. Business rationale for the downsizing.
b. Clear notification message, including effective date.
c. Benefits/severance package details.
d. Outplacement services.
e. Structure for next steps.
You should also prepare a written notice for notifying managers to give the separated employee, along with additional resources (severance details, COBRA information, and unemployment benefits applications).
3. How will you empower separated employees?
Offering outplacement services will help the individual turn their situation around quickly. Research proves job seekers are 2.67x more likely to land a new position when they work with a career coach. To best set your former employees up for success, explore outplacement services that offer one-on-one career coaching, state-of-the-art technology, and support until a successful transition.
4. What will you do to retain your workforce moving forward?
Forty-eight percent of companies that offer outplacement programs report having mostly “highly engaged” employees – 60% in all compared to U.S. national average of 34%.Develop a “going forward” plan that offers remaining staff a clear direction. They’ll need to understand the reorganization, how it affects the company’s mission and future direction, how separated employees’ responsibilities are being redistributed, and whom they should contact with questions and concerns.
Utilizing a SMART and compassionate plan for your downsizing will help you, your company, your remaining employees, and your separated employees move into a brighter future faster. From pre-planning and notification day support through career transition assistance for separated employees, IMPACT Group is your step-by-step partner as you reduce your staff. Learn more today!
For more SMART outplacement insights, download our eBook: The SMART & Compassionate Guide to Reducing Your Staff
The Effectiveness of Job Search Interventions: A Meta-Analytic Review, Psychological Bulletin, 2014