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More employers today are offering outplacement career-guidance assistance to employees who are terminated due to poor performance, or who are the wrong “fit” for positions, in addition to providing outplacement for job losses stemming from workforce reductions, according to ClearRock, an outplacement and executive coaching company headquartered in Boston.
“More employers are now taking partial responsibility for making the ‘wrong hire,’” said Ali Chambers, vice president with ClearRock (www.clearrock.com). “If employees don’t work out due to poor performance, or because they are the wrong ‘fit’ for a job, more employers are now offering outplacement assistance to help them find success in another environment.”
“Outplacement has typically been granted in situations where employers are reducing their workforces and eliminating jobs,” added Chambers. “Increasingly, organizations are now offering outplacement assistance for job losses due to performance-related reasons, a mismatch between workers and their employers or the job requirements, as well as internal political problems.”
Among the reasons why more organizations are providing outplacement in termination situations, according to ClearRock:
• Reduces legal liability from termination lawsuits. “Outplacement service is part of the overall severance agreement employees receive, which they must sign in order to obtain their severance benefits. Once the release is signed, employees waive any grievances toward their employers. Receiving outplacement is an added incentive for terminated employees to sign severance waivers,” said Chambers.
• Maintains the morale of employees who leave. “Lending a hand in the career transition of displaced employees helps them move forward emotionally and professionally, instead of looking back,” said Chambers.
• Promotes good public and community relations. “Only about 10% to 15% of displaced employees relocate for their next jobs, with the majority remaining within their current communities. Helping people transition to new employment and careers promotes positive public relations, and enhances the company’s reputation in the community,” said Chambers.
• Maintains morale of remainder of employees. “How fairly the workforce perceives the way employees are treated, including those who are terminated for performance-related reasons, has a positive or negative effect on workplace morale,” said Chambers.
• Reflects the state of economy and job market. “Outplacement provides the additional support that employees who are entering a difficult job market need to make a successful transition to new careers,” said Chambers.
• Reduces anxiety during the termination process. “Employee terminations are stressful situations for all involved parties. Adding outplacement to the process helps ease tensions,” said Chambers.
• Results in a quicker decision to terminate. “Some employers delay terminations for performance-related reasons because they don’t want to go through the termination process, hoping that things will eventually work out. Giving outplacement to terminated employees results in a quicker decision to move in another direction,” said Chambers.
• Has a positive effect on future recruitment needs. “Outplacement benefits the employer’s reputation in communities in which it conducts business, ensuring that talented employees will still find it a viable place to work,” said Chambers.