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Companies offering support to redundant employees on the increase

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With the number of individuals receiving outplacement support on the increase, a study by Reed Consulting has revealed that aside from the moral obligation, there are many reasons firms are willing to offer outplacement help.  In the event of a firm having to make redundancies, there is always the risk that its reputation amongst potential employees and customers will be damaged. A total of 78% of survey respondents felt the provision of outplacement could improve the organisation’s reputation while 55% believed outplacement could help it to be seen as an employer of choice.  

The survey which primarily focused on employers’ reactions revealed that while it may seem that outplacement does not sit naturally with staff retention, given its common proximity to redundancy programmes, respondents felt that the provision of outplacement support helped the employer retain and motivate those staff not directly affected. It is a commonly held view that up to 25% of top performers leave an organisation within 90 days of a major change announcement being made. The survey showed that 65% of respondents agreed that offering outplacement support for staff being made redundant helped retain those that remained.  

Outplacement support is generally taken to refer to the support provided to those whose jobs are made redundant, allowing them to move more easily into the next stage of their careers.  However, the study also demonstrated the value that outplacement support can have for the managers tasked with dealing with redundancies.  More than 70% of employers believe that offering outplacement helps line managers to implement redundancies with a clearer conscience and 87% of those interviewed felt that it eased the pressure on them.  

The survey also showed that people being made redundant were most often given help with their new careers by outside specialists: about half of the employers questioned used only external providers while 81% engaged some help from outsiders.  

Stuart Lindenfield, head of transition services at Reed Consulting, commented: “Our study shows that organisations recognise the value of outplacement support to help improve their reputation, increase their ability to retain key staff during times of change and support line managers to deliver the message with a clearer conscience.  The findings reveal that the provision of support is expanding with 78% stating that the need for outplacement would grow in the coming year or stay at current levels.

“Successful transitions need careful planning and the engagement of all stakeholders as early as is feasible.  When engaging an outplacement provider it is important to appoint an experienced partner that can help you to achieve your transition goals whilst increasing morale, motivation and productivity, which is vital during times of change.” 







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