In those situations when employer and employee are forced to part – be it through redundancy, termination or resignation – it’s reasonable, even logical, to assume it spells a relationship broken beyond repair. It’s the cost of doing business, the expected fall-out from a difficult decision.
For the employer, the aims are straightforward: you want to ensure the process goes smoothly, to protect your interests and, ultimately, to limit the costs. Which might make the notion of inserting extras or engaging new services seem, for some, like madness. You might reasonably ask why, when every cost is to be scrutinised and every margin squeezed, would you consider spending more on outgoing employees?
The best way to answer that would be to look at all the things an ‘outgoing employee’ represents.
Career Transition support means smoother discussions
First, if an employee is ‘outgoing’, they are likely in the midst of a consultation or negotiation process. At its most basic, Career Transition Support can be a useful bargaining chip. But more importantly, it can help shift the dynamic or change the tone of discussions.
Consider the terminology: ‘Transition’ is the key here. By aiming to help them go from one chapter of their career to the next – not from employment to unemployment – the process is no longer focused solely on the manner of their departure. It’s a chance to step back from the acrimonious or adversarial, creating a more amicable agreement. It could even make sure that bridges aren’t burnt, and that the door is kept open for a return later down the line.
Consider the people left behind
Next, while an employee may be ‘outgoing’, they’re still an employee. There’s still a duty of care. There’s still a right way to treat your people. And, even if the relationship is shattered – when bridges are burnt and the door locked for good – there’s another party to consider: the employees who remain. If there’s even the slightest perception that you’ve done anything other than treat your people well, then it can cloud the morale and performance of your existing team. It could even pave the way for a few to check the job boards in their spare moments.
Ex-employees shape reputations
Then, once that ‘outgoing employee’ becomes an ‘ex-employee’, what happens? They may keep the reasons or details of their departure to themselves, but they’ll likely share their opinions with anyone who will listen. And Career Transition Support is an opportunity to put something in the plus column of your reputation, even when you have to part ways with some of your people.
It’s these gestures that go a long way to building strong employer brands. Make an investment in building a reputation for treating staff fairly (regardless of the circumstances) and your business will reap the returns when it comes to recruitment – making quality candidates more eager to join your team.
The right thing for the long run
Beyond brand-building and corporate responsibility, there’s simply doing the right thing. While there are those times you may have to compromise your values, choosing profit (or perhaps savings) over principles, this doesn’t have to be one of them. With the value that Career Transition Support can offer, doing the right thing ethically means doing the right thing financially – in the long run.
That’s why we suggest that Career Transition Support is a worthwhile investment with tangible returns. Where some see an extra cost, we see an opportunity to convert thorny issues into valuable assets – to add value where there was none before.
Rob Moore, MD, TCMO
You can find out more about our Career Transition Support for employers here.