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According to details published by the Office for Budget Responsibility, short term employment forecasts in Britain make for grim reading. In a worst case scenario, unemployment could peak at 13.2% in 2021 - with four million people out of work. In its own words: ‘… the associated economic disruption and the policy measures put in place to support individuals and businesses will raise the budget deficit and public debt significantly’.
With announcements of job cuts at leading businesses on what seems like a daily basis, the need for effective workforce planning and contingencies for redundancy are becoming more and more common. One consideration for an increasing number of organisations is the provision of outplacement support to those unfortunate employees who are directly impacted.
However, there remains a large number of business leaders who remain dubious as to the value of offering post-employment support to employees, particularly when cost cutting is so front of mind. Perhaps if businesses were able to count on the ready availability of data and metrics to measure the effectiveness of their investment, the decision as to whether to provide support would be an easier one?
With that in mind, here are 5 key performance indicators that a good outplacement provider should be able to demonstrate:
How well you and your organisation have planned for and communicated outplacement support for employees post-redundancy, is often key to the levels of take up and engagement of the services being made available. Not only should a good outplacement provider take the lead on the communication of support and work in partnership with HR/internal stakeholders to ensure clear and effective project management, they should also be able to provide timely and accurate reporting on engagement levels in terms of the take up of support by those who are eligible.
If your employees have engaged with the services you’ve made available to them, then one of the key indicators as to the efficiency of the support itself, is the volume of resource which has been accessed. Whilst every employee’s experience will differ and some will be inclined to utilise more help than others, a good outplacement provider should at least be able to provide some level of insight as to the average number of coaching hours that have been used or another pre-agreed metric to document usage levels. If they’re unable or unwilling to do so, then they may have something to hide.
As a jobseeker, making that next career step can be truly challenging. It might mean changing sector and specialism entirely, retraining as something new, starting your own business or even downsizing your career. As such it can sometimes be difficult for an outplacement company to provide clear metrics as to how many employees have made that next step and in what form it’s taken. That said, it should be reasonable to assume that for most employees, how quickly and easily they’ve been able to secure a new position is a good indicator as to how useful their outplacement support has been. The more metrics your provider can share on this the better and the more they can demonstrate these kinds of results over an extended period, the more compelling still.
They say that no news is good news and to some extent that rings true for an effective outplacement process. If you are receiving feedback either directly or indirectly, that should provide a good barometer as to how well you (or more importantly, your provider) is doing at managing a difficult process. A business is far more likely to hear about an experience which has been handled poorly and with Glassdoor and Facebook providing easy platforms for disgruntled employees to vent their frustrations, it won’t be too long before you hear one way or the other.
A good outplacement partner should help to mitigate as much negative feeling as possible, through timely and effective support which an employee should be able to take value from straight away. They should also be able to provide you with qualitative feedback as and when the project has run its course. If they are unable to do so, then you’re within your rights to ask them why.
Possibly the most important indicator as to how well the outplacement process has worked, will be in terms of the volume of work you have had to contribute to the process. Have you had to take the lead on the planning, communication and management of the project? Or has your provider handled this for you? A good outplacement provider should provide the ‘heavy-lifting’ on a project of this kind; the dissemination of accurate information to employees, handling referrals in a timely and efficient manner and keeping the business up to speed with progress and feedback as the partnership evolves.
Renovo are the UK’s leading specialist provider of award-winning outplacement and career transition support. If you have a need to support employees impacted by redundancy, then we’d be happy to see if we can help. Call us on 020 7347 8082.