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Support in outplacement - the beginning not the end

23/02/2021 2021/02

Many companies and their employees are confronted with the consequences of the current situation. The current crisis affects small, medium-sized and large companies across industries. In order to maintain the business, they are forced to reach decisions that result in the loss of a job for a large number of employees.

Losing a job is the worst-case scenario for many people, because it is not only associated with financial challenges, but also often with fear of the future, grief and disappointment. Long-term employees in particular often hit these decisions very hard.

We support companies and affected employees in this difficult time. In our interview we asked Katja Herrmann about the most important facts concerning outplacement. We were able to determine that in most cases an outplacement results in a positive restart and is often the next step in your career.

Hello Katja, thank you for answering our questions on this topic. Let's start with a short classification - what is outplacement?

Yes, thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to talk about the positive aspects behind this topic. In general, outplacement advice has spread through separation processes among managers in Germany. These processes are never easy or beautiful, as the influence on those affected has a strong impact on their self-esteem, depending on the current situation, and can therefore influence the psyche and future action in addition to the financial consequences. It has been shown that professional support for reorientation by an external service provider mitigates the consequences, that the process can be implemented more positively for both sides and with completely new possibilities.

Regardless of the current difficult economic situation, when is outplacement used?

Currently, the driver of downsizing is of course the survival of the company due to severe economic cuts. In “normal” times, the reasons range from company takeovers, relocations or strategy changes to bankruptcies due to slumping profits, as we see them now. In addition to accompanying employees, part of our outplacement advice is also strategic advice for the customer company, since the decisions to be made always have an impact on the future direction, design and ability of the company to work. We also have training sessions for the talks. It is also important to comply with the strict formal rules of labor law in difficult situations. The goal of outplacement is always to separate in an amicable separation. 

What are the advantages of outplacement advice?

We can look at this from both sides. Through professional support, the company avoids legal disputes that are difficult to understand due to the strict rules of occupational health and safety and regular changes, and which are sometimes misinterpreted. The appreciative treatment of the employee, which takes place over the entire process, prevents damage to the image and even strengthens the positive image of the company, since the employer invests in the future of the employees even though they will leave the company. In contrast to a lengthy, exhausting and capacity-binding separation process in court, our advice not only saves the costs of the court process, but also significantly reduces the costs of high severance payments. In certain cases, the procedures even result in long-term employment or a positive business relationship at another level.

An accompanied process improves the employee experience, since the remaining employees also get to know how to handle separation management. An appreciative separation process is therefore viewed less critically and has no negative impact on team morale or motivation. At the same time, it reduces the fear of job loss, which also has an impact on work performance and productivity. Studies have shown that working with an outplacement consultant has a more positive impact on working with employee representatives than doing social selection. Acceptance is higher even in termination proceedings.

For the employees concerned, there are completely new perspectives that would not have arisen without an intensive study of their own drivers, skills and wishes. The support enables the transition to a new, fulfilling job to be reached more quickly. The financial losses are limited and your own quality of life can be maintained. Many also benefit from the additional emotional support during this phase. Aligning yourself to the future again and again is easier with the help of coaching and the termination is processed more easily. 

Ultimately, the prospect of not having to deal with this situation alone is one of the most important factors in outplacement. 

Thank you for the insights and the opportunities you are offering.

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About the Author
Milana Schreiber
Teamlead HRaaS & HR Consulting

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