In our first post of 2018, 10Eighty CEO Michael Moran considers the challenges of outplacement services and the positives to be gained through an employee-centred approach.
In 2018, if you haven’t already done so, it’s likely you are going to have to make changes in order to operate in the post-Brexit economy.
We face change on an unprecedented scale with uncertainty and volatility accruing from socio-political pressures, disruptive technologies and an unpredictable economic outlook. Leadership teams need to be able to move fast when it comes to decision-making and change management, in order to implement innovative solutions with minimum disruption to the business at hand.
In a difficult economic climate, no organisation can afford to carry passengers, so productivity and high performance will be the main focus as we adapt to face the future. For many, this year, that will involve hard decisions with regards to manpower planning, and, given the pace of change, it is likely that many organisations will need to make changes to their management team as part of the process.
Making the decision to implement redundancies is never easy and is particularly difficult where it will affect people with whom you have worked personally. Before making such a decision it is crucial to determine which staff members can be developed in order avoid the need to make redundancies. In fact, this career path planning should be an integral part of overall strategic workforce planning and, along with structured development plans for staff, should significantly negate the need to make large-scale redundancies.
Once the leadership team determines that there is a business case for restructuring then obviously it is crucial to follow relevant legislation. Unpleasant as it is, making team members redundant should be a pro-active decision that anticipates a future workforce where different skills are needed to meet the corporate strategy in a challenging environment.
Structured outplacement is a key element in managing the disruption that results from right-sizing and is a standard component in corporate redundancy programmes. From a PR perspective outplacement is crucial to managing the employer brand. A reputable name and respected brand can be damaged astonishingly quickly especially since social-media has magnified the scope, speed and reach of commentary that could potentially damage an employer’s reputation.
While there is a social and moral case to make for supporting employees who have served the organisation well, it’s also about managing the morale of employees who see their colleagues being made redundant. A strategic HR policy also considers prospective employees and the need to persuade them that the organisation is a good place to develop a career; it is also important to do everything possible to leave the door open for returners.
At 10Eighty we believe that a high-touch tailored transition support will help executives identify a wide range of opportunities and find roles that resonate with their values and aspirations. Career transition services should not focus solely on landing the next role but on positioning the individual, with tangible, practical support and advice, for the career path they choose to follow.
The effects of a redundancy programmes don’t end with the last dismissal, those left need to continue functioning with minimum disruption. They must pick up the pieces, often while dealing with an increased workload; they may be worried, angry or demotivated. There is a clear management responsibility to articulate, demonstrate and model the benefits that will result from the redundancy programme. At this point, it is important to promulgate a clear message around ongoing business strategy and the part that team members play in rebuilding and securing future prosperity for the whole organisation.
Shape a future-proof workforce
Career planning can also help reshape the team, increase team effectiveness, improve employee engagement and productivity. At 10Eighty we use the Fuel50 interactive tool to create a career-engaged workforce and to help managers to conduct career conversations with their staff. Alongside coaching and development programmes we help clients build a collaborative culture and organisational ecosystem that will enable and empower a future-facing workforce.
Clients see a real return on investment as a result of implementing career path development for employees. Evidence shows that engaged employees are more productive, more loyal, take less time off work, generate high levels of customer satisfaction and this generates shareholder value. Put simply, the organisation is more profitable.
I firmly believe that an employee-centred approach to manpower planning will enable the organisation to shape high-performance teams with increased effectiveness, engagement and productivity. Making the investment in career planning for employees with a collaborative process that aims to enhance and realise the potential for sustainable personal and professional development will always pay dividends in difficult times.