We’ve provided outplacement services for many years, and it’s still surprising to come across organisations that have little idea about what good outplacement means today. As with many other organisations, this often stems from a simplistic view of the outplacement exercise, and the outcomes that should be expected of it.

Understanding what constitutes good outplacement is important not only for the employees, but for the organisation. After all, no organisation wants to waste money on services that simply aren’t deemed as valuable or useful by the employees they’re trying to help.

However, there is one major problem inhibits an understanding of what ‘good outplacement’ entails – very few HR Managers actually measure the effectiveness of their outplacement programs, to ensure that they are having the intended impact.

The responsibility sits with HR to make sure that their outplacement program is delivering the right outcomes. Specifically, HR managers need to hold outplacement providers accountable to delivering a service that has a tangible and positive impact on the organisation, its employees, and its performance.

As an HR practitioner, it’s important to ask your outplacement provider:

1. What forms a successful outplacement program?

Losing a job is one of the ten most stressful things in life. A successful program is one that provides one-on-one coaching and psychological support to assist the individual through the trauma of job loss. It should also help to build their confidence in defining and selling their skills. The key is to find an outplacement consultant that is able to relate to the individual, regardless of the individual’s experience or seniority level.

2. What benefits can we expect as a result of this program?

A good outplacement provider will educate the client on which services are most effective, how they will be delivered and what outcomes to expect. These outcomes should include increased engagement of transitioning employees, improved ability for these employees to gain new employment, and improved resilience and productivity of remaining employees.

3. How can I maximise my contribution to outplacement?

To build an outplacement program that aligns with your organisation’s unique needs, you need to