Outplacement – What steps can a company take to help people?

Last week’s news bulletins played footage of Deutsche Bank employees leaving their offices carrying cardboard boxes probably elicited a variety of feelings in viewers. Perhaps some are envisaging themselves in the departing employees’ shoes. Perhaps some have been there. Others will be thinking of employees they have had to let go and the responsibility they bear to their current employees.

We have already looked at why it is important and beneficial for employers to invest in their people at all stages during the employment cycle. But what does that look like in practice?

Investing in departing employees doesn’t mean cheaply discarding them.

When asking for our proposal for an outplacement assignment, one executive said: “We want to give the employees we let go a soft landing, but we don’t want to put too much into it.” When asked what he meant, he said, “Is there some online way to do this cheaply?”

There are many such ways, and in some cases they are entirely appropriate. There will be times when the job market is flourishing or when the employee in question is incredibly self-sufficient, has a battery of sought-after skills, and perhaps has youth on their side.

For senior executives with long service, or during times when the job market is a difficult or uncertain place to navigate, a deeper level of support may be required. In order to manage departures positively and ensure a successful ongoing relationship, a cheaper online option is not sufficient.

Think about what action you need to take and when.

PRS are available at every stage and our service doesn’t start when the severance agreement is drawn up. We will talk to you earlier on before any decisions have been taken and can work with you and support your in-house team during any initial consultation process. If you have a limited HR resource you may want to consider this option.

When you decide to meet us after a decision has been made we will help you decide exactly what level of support you want to give to each departing employee. We are flexible in our choice of programmes. One HR Manager who hired us for outplacement said: “I want a mix of online, on-the-phone and in-person connections. These people need real support and specific advice, not just webinars and tutorials.”

A bespoke and appropriate programme for each individual.

Overall we believe that regardless of the mode of delivery of services for exiting employees, companies should not make it about severing a relationship but rather view it as investing in an ongoing relationship. We don’t make it complicated and always tailor our level of programme to your budget and the needs of the departing employee.

For more information about our tailored Outplacement services, please contact PRS here.

When to Stay and When to Go


Managing Departure

You are not always in control of your own departure – just ask the miserable crowds stranded at Heathrow and Gatwick following BA’s global IT failure. However, some people’s departure from work is very much within their own control. Some leaders have and will face the prospect of deciding when to step down…or deciding not to.

The question of whether or not Arsene Wenger would stay as manager of Arsenal or leave was raised yet again at the weekend and answered this Wednesday with the signing of a new two-year contract. His story, though, remains an interesting case study.

Another Roll of the Dice

Wenger has been a leader for over 20 years. He has undoubtedly been a successful leader, with more FA Cup wins than any other manager. This weekend’s record 13th Cup win could have been a suitable occasion to ‘go out on a high’, but perhaps it was not ‘high’ enough. Wenger has unfulfilled ambitions – he has never won the Champions League and far rather exit with Arsenal as domestic league champions than cup victors.

Arsenal fans have ambitions too. They want the same successes as he does but, as each year goes by without them, increasing numbers call for a new leader to achieve them. It is a situation familiar to many beyond the world of professional sport – just when do you call it a day? Do you gamble on a last chance at glory and, should you fail, risk denting your hard won reputation from the years before?

Controlling the Agenda

In politics, Tony Blair engineered his departure before the 2010 election. Clouds had gathered surrounding his decision to invade Iraq and his popularity was on the wane. He chose to leave as PM, on his own terms rather than face a likely election defeat. Margaret Thatcher, on the other hand, clung on despite falling polls. The knives came out from within her own party and the end of her career was an ignominious one.

Parliaments are intended to last five years and a football season the best part of a year. The unexpected can and does happen, but there is often more time for strategic thought. In business the timescales are often much shorter and success can turn to failure very quickly. When should a successful leader step aside from their business?

Do you manage the agenda and pick your moment, or wait for the wolves to reach the door? Even if you’re not at that stage in your career it’s worth giving some thought as to how you would like to step away. The ‘stay or go’ moment may be thrust upon you by a sudden crisis or success and you may well be grateful that you took the time to think through the pros and cons beforehand.

In the news: quitting your investment banking job gracefully

As we rub up against the personalities of those we work with and the flaws they demonstrate, it’s common to fantasise about leaving a role or a company in dramatic style. In cut-throat environments and high-risk cultures, drama can be oh-so tempting.

But there’s another way that can be much more beneficial in the long-term. Andrew recently contributed to an article on EFinancial Careers all about how to create an exit strategy that doesn’t come back to bite you.

Read the full article here.