Benefits to Offering Voluntary Severance

large__3049152556During the tech bubble of 2001 and the recession of 2008, employers faced the need to downsize several rounds in their organizations in order to meet business objectives. The toughest part of a layoff or reduction in force (RIF) is figuring out who goes and who stays. In a first round of layoffs, performance usually is part of the selection process, but as you get further down the list, it becomes tougher to select and voluntary separation programs begin to be appealing to any organization. Voluntary separations have always had multiple advantages over involuntary programs. First, employees who leave voluntarily are less likely to sue their organization over their separation and are more likely to sign a release in exchange for severance and outplacement services, assuming it is offered.

  • Careerminds . Outplacement . Reduction in Force . RIF . Severance .

Outplacement for Workers Gets Upsized by Careerminds


blog post newThe Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled “Assistance for Laid off Workers Gets Downsized” which is creating quite a stir in the outplacement world. The article featured a laid off regional sales manager who received very little outplacement from his former employer that was poorly executed. The backdrop is companies today are shrinking human resource budgets, which is forcing the large traditional outplacement firms to shrink their outplacement programs in order to be competitive.

Reporter, Lauren Weber wrote, “the outplacement industry, which once thrived in tough times, is under pressure. Revenues are being squeezed as contract values with employers fall and cover fewer services, and a host of online upstarts—which offer Web-only career assistance for a fraction of the cost of traditional packages—force providers to compete

  • Careerminds . Outplacement . wall street journal .

RIF Notification Counseling before the RIF

large__10130943734I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard HR professionals say, “I never expected my employee to react that way when we had to lay them off”, especially knowing that the company was tanking. Didn’t they know the reduction in force (RIF) was coming?

The reality is you can never predict how someone will react after being told they are going to lose their job, regardless of how many signals they receive prior to the reduction in force (RIF). Assuredly, it’s the element of surprise that can often lead to an emotional reaction and an unhealthy exit—one that can “burn bridges”.

But, is there a better way to mentally prepare employees about RIFs ahead of time? What if employees are warned that layoffs are coming and HR is able to

  • Careerminds . Layoffs . Outplacement . Reduction in Force . RIF .

Employee Severance, Friend or Foe

clockEmployee severance packages have been around for a long time and come in many shapes and sizes. I would say that most all companies provide some form of severance package when an employee is either laid off or retire from their employer. Employee severance packages generally include additional severance pay and outplacement benefits that help the employee transition to their next opportunity.  Employee severance sends a message to the exiting employee that the company cares about them and wants to see the employee land successfully.

Other benefits that can be included in a severance package are things like , medical, dental or life insurance, relocation benefits,  retirement benefits, or stock options.

It seems the trend with employee severance packages is to load the package with a cash benefit versus some of


Timeless Outplacement, A Concept Worth Exploring

small__8119337298For so many years, outplacement programs have been driven by length of program and the number of hours of career coaching in most cases. Companies who offer outplacement to displaced employees would generally select a variety of programs that are budget driven and generally time bound with a limited amount of career coaching hours. The reality is most displaced employees who are let go from their employer need more support their company provided. The program they receive in many cases falls short of the support needed to land in their next job.

So what does this mean? First of all, we know outplacement is evolving as companies today are considering more virtual outplacement programs for their displaced employees versus traditional brick and mortar programs. Today’s modern

  • Career Coaching . career transition . Career Transitioning . Human Resources . Outplacement . timeless outplacement . Virtual Outplacement .

Virtual Outplacement Boomer Style

bigstock-Man-Working-At-Desk-In-Busy-Cr-43131430First of all, we like to steer very clear of generalizations. We realize that not every Millennial is a social media expert and not every Boomer is computer illiterate. That being said, the time at which our technology boom happened, coupled with the advent of the internet, made for a highly tech-savvy emerging workforce. It is a much different position to play catch-up than to have grown up with the technology that we have now. The learning curve is no different, but rather the access and exposure.

Because virtual outplacement is so much cheaper and so convenient for users, virtual outplacement has become the industry standard. The “virtual” part can pose a problem for Boomers, or so they might think. The misconception is that virtual outplacement will put Boomers at a disadvantage.

  • Career Coaching . Career Transitioning . Human Resources . Outplacement . Talent . Virtual Outplacement . Workforce .

Health Care Reform Briefing: What HR Should Know


Today I interviewed Jennifer Calhoun Mohl, a Partner/Healthcare Consultant at Mercer, a global human resources consulting firm.

Jennifer, tell me what kind of work do you do.

I work with employers, large and small, in addressing their health care strategies and helping them decide what kinds of health care benefits to offer to their employees and retirees.

So what is your aim?

The aim is to have a comprehensive, competitive program that is cost effective. Companies want to manage trends while offering  quality programs to remain competitive and retain their employees.

What is something you have done for a client that you are really proud of?

About seven years ago,I worked with a  client who wanted to create a culture of health and well 


Upcoming Webinar- Healthcare Briefing: What HR Should Know

Careerminds-Webinar-Header Tuesday November 12, 2013at 2:00pm EST

This month’s webinar will be hosted by Jennifer Calhoun Mohl. She is a Partner and senior consultant in Mercer’s Philadelphia health and benefits practice. She will dive into what is to come in employer sponsored healthcare plans.

Register Here HRCI Certification Logo

Each month Careerminds hosts a free webinar and the opportunity to earn HRCI credits. This month Jennifer Calhoun will be schooling us on what to expect from healthcare reforms in the coming year.

With impending significant changes in healthcare, this webinar is the perfect chance to get your HR deparment ready and in compliance mode. 

With the onset of numerous benefit and eligibility mandates as well as the introduction of public medical exchanges,


Takeaways from the AOL Conference Call Firing

Unless you live under a rock, you heard about AOL’s CEO, Tim Armstrong firing an employee during a conference call with over 1,000 people listening. We won’t get into the nitty gritty of the situation, but Forbes deemed this the “Worst Way to Fire Someone.”

To understand the outburst, there is a little bit of background information that has been widely overlooked. Patch is AOL’s network of local newsgathering units, and Abel Lenz, the gentleman who got the harsh boot for attempting to record the call, was the Creative Director. Earlier that month AOL had to conduct a reduction in force of 20 Patch employees and it was clear to everyone that this would not be the end of the lay offs. Susan Adams at Forbes said,

“Also the day before the conference call with

  • Downsizing . Emotional Intelligence . Firing . Layoffs . Management . Outplacement . Reduction in Force . RIF . Terminating Employees .

4 Quirks That Could Get You Laid Off

Let’s clear something up first; Most of the time lay offs are inevitable. They are a hard fact of business, and are often unavoidable. However, there are some employees who will be more likely to wind up on a RIF list than others. There are some qualities that management will look to cut first.

The “That’s Not My Job”

Boy, oh boy is this every manager’s most hated phrase! When employees refuse to help out outside of the confines of their specific job description it speaks volumes to everyone around them. No matter how politely an employee turns down work outside of their normal responsibilities, it puts a negative label on them.

When layoffs are on the table, management will keep those employees who can diversify and pick up the slack. When workers have to leave their post,

  • Employee Engagement . Laid off . Layoffs . Management . RIF . Terminating Employees . Workforce .

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