A person’s career is a cornerstone of their life. Whether you live to work or work to live, your job becomes an integral part of who you are – and an essential part of your overall wellbeing.

However, sometimes organisations are forced to restructure, causing anxious moments for all staff. Not only do redundancies directly affect exiting staff members and the manager responsible for facilitating the exit, but they can also have an indirect effect on the remaining team’s morale and engagement.

In such a tricky and emotional situation, it’s important to recognise the organisation’s duty of care to provide support to those involved – for the wellbeing of the employee, for those remaining with the organisation, and to ensure the organisation’s reputation is not damaged as part of the process.

The difficulties of facing change

Career transition support covers a number of different functions, but first and foremost it’s about ensuring the exiting staff member is emotionally supported and can appropriately and comfortably process the situation.

From here, the support should extend to assisting them with their job searching skills to gain new employment, including:

  • Identifying career options
  • Identifying transferable skills
  • Resume building
  • Interview skills
  • Building networks, and
  • Developing job seeking skills.

For some people, these skills might seem simple and straightforward. But career support looks different for everyone, depending on their needs.

An employee who has been with your company for an extended period — 10, 15 or even 30 years — and is suddenly made redundant will likely experience anxieties that go past the immediate shock. Their confidence in their ability to acquire a new job can be directly affected by their insecurities around:

  • Changes in the job market, and in the job application process,
  • Having specialised skills that they believe are only pertinent to one job or industry,
  • The loss of self-worth or identity that came with their former role, and
  • Not knowing if their ideas or goals are suitable or achievable.

Having the opportunity to engage with someone who is both knowledgeable and objective can go a long way to helping them succeed after a redundancy and ease their anxieties about making a sudden career change.

Career transition is a two-way street

As previously mentioned, outplacement doesn’t just affect the employee (or employees) leaving, but also their direct managers, their immediate team, and the organisation as a whole.

Making staff redundant is a delicate procedure for companies, and when doing so you want to make sure you’re doing it right by your staff, but also right by your business.

Career transition support assists organisations to maintain their reputation by ensuring they’re acting on:

Social Responsibility — taking care of your staff (whether they’re exiting or not) is perceived by many as the ethical and professional way to do business. It also builds trust amongst remaining staff, demonstrating to them that their company cares about their future and wellbeing.

Duty of Care — often a redundancy is not due to the fault of any one person, so offering transition support shows that your company has empathy for exiting staff and wants to offer them the best chance of re-employment.

Risk Management — a good reputation is paramount to attracting and retaining existing staff and customers. Being serious about outplacement support can protect your business from receiving negative reviews or attention via online, social or traditional media platforms.

These factors, if controlled through quality transition support, can also lead to your organisation being known as an employer of choice — knowing you look after your staff is an attractive trait for experienced and highly sought-after employees.

Why quality matters

It’s important to understand not all career transition support can be considered ‘quality’.

Engaging a third party to carry out career transition support ensures:

  1. A Good Match — A support professional can be specifically selected for the exiting employee, based on industry, role, experience or any other combination of professional or personal characteristics. Being matched with someone they can relate to and engage with allows employees to get the most out of the support program and gives them a better chance of securing new employment.
  2. An Objective Listener — Exiting staff have the opportunity to speak to someone who is objective, so they feel comfortable discussing any subject without judgement, embarrassment or repercussions. A third-party expert can listen to their future career ideas and aspirations, give advice on how to achieve them and offer pathways the employee may have not considered.
  3. Customised Support Methods — The support offered can be individualised, as not everyone will require the same assistance or have the same issues as they transition through the change. Those who need a higher level of support or extra training in specialised skills will receive it – rather than be disadvantaged by a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Career transition support shouldn’t be thought of as an unfortunate cost for businesses, but more of a non-zero-sum game. It gives companies the opportunity to create the best outcome from a bad situation, and gives both staff members and the organisations the confidence needed to move through periods of uncertain change.

Making a quality Choice

If you are – or are going to be – instigating redundancies in your work place, then engaging an experienced outplacement provider with the necessary expertise and knowledge will ensure the process is as comfortable and smooth as possible – for your organisation, exiting employees and the broader team

Choice Career Services are a leading provider of career transition support and change management services and we pride ourselves in providing the highest quality support for employees to create positive outcomes for businesses.

To learn more about supporting employees through periods of change, get in touch with Choice by calling 1800 823 213 or by clicking here.