Your Employees and Ex-Employees are your best PR.
Companies invest in PR and Communications to promote their positives, their products, the benefits of their service and their commitment to the community. One of the most important “press releases” a company can have is how it handles the employee who leaves.
Even though employees may sign their severance agreements, they usually don’t feel happy to be let go, regardless of the circumstances. They’re angry. They’re also upset, embarrassed and confused. They will want to talk to people and the way in which you handle their departure will influence what they say.
Your Ex-Employees talk to others.
Through social media, ex-employees have a louder voice and wider audience than ever before. Scathing comments from disgruntled former employees can spread as virally as photos of cats and videos of politicians making gaffes. A company’s reputation can take a huge hit from the negative feedback and it can make recruiting top talent far more difficult in the future.
Yet the way a company deals with ex-employees should not be seen as a cynical damage-limitation exercise. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate that you genuinely care about the people who have worked hard for you. The relationship is not over – they will likely require references and, when they do talk to others, you would like to be recognised as an employer who takes care of employees at all stages of the career cycle. This message is equally important for potential and current employees to hear.
Your future Employees will look at how you treat people.
Employees who have been let go will be experiencing a barrage of negative emotions. However, for companies that provide a strong severance agreement and pay for months of outplacement or career services, it can mean the world to someone who needs support and help in finding new employment.
This can be a powerful lasting benefit for a company. One HR manager said to us: “You know, we are laying off many of these people, but they are people I care about and people I hired. When we recover from this setback in the business, we may want to hire them again. It’s a small world.”
Your current Employees are watching too.
Investing in your exiting employees often means that you care about them, and it sends a strong message to those left behind in the business too: “We care about you from beginning to end.” It builds esprit de corps with your current workforce and shows how you respond to something negative in a positive way.
Those employees who are leaving go on to talk to current employees with whom they often still have a relationship. They may even be tempted to post reviews on Glassdoor or provide a reference for your company. One HR manager who hired told me, “These people still have friends here, and they will need them as references. I know those who signed our severance agreed not to sue us, but they talk to others, and I want them to speak positively about the way we treated them. It will come back to us.”
For more information about Outplacement Services, please contact us here.