Reorganizing is difficult for everyone involved. But it’s painful if you don’t protect your employees and brand in the process.
No company today is immune to reorganizations, mergers, takeovers, downsizing and other major restructuring changes as they all try to grow or, simply, survive under extreme economic pressure. Restructuring is becoming increasingly common due to reasons such as technology upgrades, new industry trends, product portfolio modifications, outsourcing, and realigning a brand.
This enforces changes in the roles in the existing organization and redundancies. At the same time, it creates a need for the employers to protect both their company and the downsized employees as they continue to be the brand ambassadors even after their employment ended. This is especially true in the era of social media where the disgruntled ex-employee can air their grievances towards your company with a click of a button.
Restructuring can be inevitable for many companies – what matters is how they respond. Three of the best ways to protect your company’s brand when in this situation are:
Provide outplacement services
If finding a new job for talented employees within the new company structure is not an option, then outplacement services are the next best step you can make for your employees. Outplacement reassures a former employee that they know you’re helping them find a new job, and as a result, they’ll be less inclined to sue or disparage you.
Hiring someone who can help your employees with transition support such as writing resumes and cover letters, preparing for job interviews, and matching them with suitable jobs ensures that departing employees don’t become detractors. It also leaves the door open for you to rehire an ex-employee or collaborate with them as a customer, consultant or partner, providing further advancement on both sides in future.
Offer voluntary departure opportunities
Before enacting layoffs, offer the opportunity for employees to leave on their own and receive a volunteer departure package, as well as career development and transition support. This way, your employees are more in control over their future which reduced their anxiety and undesired behaviors, as well as helps your company to manage productivity.
When people are being laid off, remaining workers can become fearful which erodes their morale as they might feel that they are working for a company that is not really concerned about its employees. Considering the talents of the redundant employees for other positions within your organization or re-training them for new skills can help with this. This will also help your company to reduce severance costs.
With a global talent shortage larger than anytime since 2007, the power of the increasingly fluid job market has shifted from the employer to the employee. Rightfully so, employees expect to be treated with dignity and fairness for their skills.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou
Organizations should heed the advice of Angelou when looking to mitigate risk and protect their brand during restructuring.