Fired, laid off, re-structured, made redundant… 5 ways you can help your staff

It really makes no difference what you call it. If you have to let people go, you can still make the transition smoother for everyone. If you value your staff and your business, then you should manage this challenging task with simple ways to help your employees and your business to work successfully through an outplacement situation.

There are many reasons for cutbacks, downsizing or rightsizing your business and letting go of employees is never easy.  However, it needs to be well managed for your employees and your business to ensure as positive an outcome as possible.  It’s not just about cash payments or redundancy money, outplacement services allow displaced employees to access services like job search and career counselling, interview coaching and resume writing, all of which allow the organisation to help them get back on their feet and move forward.

Planning and preparing for this challenging transition period also benefits the organisation in several ways, including staying competitive in the industry, maintaining positive relationships with displaced workers, maintaining a positive brand reputation for a company going through a turbulent time, and helping with liability protection.

Check out these five quick and easy ways to improve your current outplacement plan.

5 ways you can help your staff


  • Avoid standardised outplacement plans if you want your staff to believe that your intentions are genuine. Everyone is different, and employees who are let go will require different assistance. Some may need job coaching, others may need help with networking, and still others may not need much assistance at all.
  • Start with exit interviews, as they can help to determine what the best outplacement plan is for each employee. Continue with structured communication on what is available to them, whether it’s job search management tools, career assessments, referrals to financial advisors, retraining strategies, social networking advice, etc., and work together to create a personalised plan.
  • Keep it personal and help ease your former employees’ feelings about being displaced and help them have a positive view about finding new opportunities.

  • Communicate your outplacement options and use different, yet personalised formats, such as email, social media or personalised letters and avoid silly communication activities such as posters and handouts.
  • Take out time and set up resources to illustrate how using outplacement services can benefit the employee.

Employees may not be taking advantage of your outplacement services for several reasons. No matter what, clearly communicating what services are available will help increase their usage.


Particularly long term staff who have worked in the same job consistently for some time or those that are relatively new to the workforce may not have developed an extensive network.

  • You can help them with networking training which can make their job search easier.This could be anything from offering personalised 1 on 1 or small group training advice on how to network to connecting displaced employees with alumni willing to provide mentorship.
  • Adding technology solutions to your outplacement plan can help with this as well, allowing individuals to organise their contacts and connect with a larger network.
  • A very effective solution is hosting or partnering with a networking event to connect displaced employees with potential new employers, as well as assisting in setting up social networking profiles and solutions.

Money is one expected solution to help with displacement, but it is also a short-term solution to a long-term problem.Instead of simply giving redundancy payments, consider the benefits of investing in other opportunities that will benefit them in their job search, such as providing outplacement services with mobile communication solutions.

Most job hunters use their mobile devices to look for work and moving your outplacement services there means displaced employees can access them anytime, anywhere. This will help increase usage and encourage workers to take advantage of the services you offer.


It’s great to help displaced employees network and find opportunities, but businesses should demonstrate that their concerns are genuine by making sure they have the tools to pursue those opportunities. In addition, many displaced employees may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what their next step should be.

  • Offering job search coaching, career counselling or a hybrid of both can be a good way to mitigate those fears and help workers figure out their next move while also providing insight into creating effective resumes and handling job interviews.
  • To avoid awkwardness, consider outsourcing the outplacement through a third party.Letting go of employees is never easy, but a solid outplacement plan can help. However, it’s only good if it’s being used. Using some or all of these tips to improve your outplacement plan can increase its usage and help displaced workers move on successfully.

Organise it yourself or find a professional service partner.  Just don’t leave your staff in the lurch and remember to hunt wisely!


Do you have other good plans to improve the situation? Please share here.