Wednesday, 03.06.2020

Outplacement and career coaching. How to support dismissed employees?

        Main legal obligation of human resources department is to find suitable candidate and to keep him in the company. However there’s always two sides to a story. The second one is about ending cooperation and this is the least pleasant aspect.

The situation on the market is changing very rapidly and employees dismissals are often inevitable. Nowadays, during COVID-19 pandemic, many industries have been financially affected. Therefore, they also had to take necessary steps to reduce employment in companies. A research conducted by in April 2020 shows that 36% of respondents have already lost their jobs after the outbreak of pandemic, but 15% of respondents are afraid of losing their jobs. [1]

One of the most difficult situations for employer is to lay off worker even if he wasn’t at fault. Anyway does the end of cooperation has to be connected to bad experience and bad associations? It’s very important to ensure that the dismissal of employees is professional. Moreover, it minimizes the negative effects of redundancies and remains in good relations even after cooperation has ended.

How to take care of redundant employees?

        The longer employee works for the company, the more difficult is to lay him off.  However, despite the loss of a person who has been engaged and involved in work, employers are still too rarely taking appropriate action to support the employee at this difficult time.

The way how employers dismiss employees has a big impact on the employer’s perception and brand building in the internal and external environment. Quitting the team can have a negative impact on the other members - their effectiveness, commitment and image of the company.

Development of a culture of human resources management in enterprises requires more and more taking care about employee – the future one, the present one and the one you’ve laid off. To help you with dismissal process comes outplacement and career coaching.

Outplacement - support for a redundant employee

        Outplacement is a system which allows redundancies to be carried out more easily. It consists of helping people with regaining self-confidence and with finding work again. Outplacement is about offering redundant employees a special assistance program about searching for new employment opportunities. It’s also employer’s support with individual and collective redundancies.

The role of outplacement is regulated by the Employment Equity Act. If at least 50 employees during 3 months lose their jobs, the employer must comply with the Act. Outplacement services can be used by all employees who are in the period of notice and also those at risk of redundancy.

Employees who will be covered by the outplacement service, can take part in trainings and experts advices. Offered advices allow to analyze career path and set out a new one. This is done by making dismissed employee aware of his advantages, potential and competences what can be useful in searching for a new job. Outplacement allows to improve the labor market knowledge, to know how to reach out to potential employers and to know how to do well at the job interviews.

Apart from supporting redundant employees, outplacement reorganizes companies, motivates employees and maintains their effectiveness. Another goal of outplacement is to maintain a good image of employer.

It could seem that outplacement benefits primarily employees. However, it turns out that companies can benefit a lot too. What kind of benefits? For example:

  • Maintaining good relationships with redundant employees
  • Supporting management and HR departments in process of employment reduction
  • Improving or maintaining good company image on the market
  • Creating a vision for further restructuring activities
  • Calming down the difficult situation and maintaining a sense of security and efficiency of employees that remain in the company
  • Maintaining good relationship with social partners (including trade unions)

Career coaching – an integral part of outplacement?

On the one hand career coaching is separate service, but on the other hand is a part of outplacement, which is intended for employees. It is an individual support program which is adapted to the needs of employee. It inspires him to take action to develop a successful career. It allows him to find satisfying job or to find a purpose of his current job. 

Am important aspect of career coaching is the fact that it is not only addressed to dismissed employees, but also to current employees of the company.

Coaching program is conducted by career coach who helps employee to motivate him, to discover his passions and goals.  Because of that he will love his work – current one or future one. Career coach focuses on long-term and individual development of employees by strengthening their abilities to manage their own careers. One of the main goals of coaching is to eliminate employee’s career blockades, for example deficits in interpersonal skills or communication and lack of self-confidence.

Career coaching is very beneficial for employees. Research made by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2009 showed that 80% of patients indicated an improvement in self-confidence, over 70% in communication and interpersonal skills and over 60% in organization and development of personal and professional life. [2]

Awareness of own skills, values and motivation increases because of coaching. In employee’s life a clearly defined course of action and professional (and often personal) goal appears. Also an openness to change in work environment, ability to cope with changes and mental resilience increase too.

Career coaching also helps to create professional application documents, such as a CV or a cover letter. They completely reflect range of employee’s experience,  skills and competences and they are in the line with current market trends.

Outplacement and career coaching are two ways how to effectively support redundant employees and by using them, employee will not leave the company thinking “They fired me and that’s it”, but he will feel cared for. Moreover, he will be convinced that his dismissal was necessary and that his employer did his best to help him. The dismissed employee will be in good mental condition and will be able to constantly develop his career. After all… you never know where your paths will cross again. Maybe the redundant employee will become your new counterparty or supplier soon?


We provide professional outplacement and career coaching services. Contact us and we can help you to care for your current and former employees.