The Real Retention Issue That CHROs Need to Know About

January 31, 2020 by Josh Hrala

With the economy thriving and the unemployment still ultra-low (3.7 percent at the time of writing this article), retention has become a major issue for organizations across the board.

In the current economic climate, workers are empowered more than ever to jump ship and find new work elsewhere. It’s now up to organizations to retain them with strong initiatives that focus not just on perks like flexibility, but with programs that strike at every stage of the employee lifecycle, not just the first and second.

The first stage in the employee lifecycle – talent acquisition and onboarding – is talked about at length across various publications and the internet at large. The second stage – the development stage – is also highly discussed.

In fact, the middle section of the lifecycle has the most coverage of any stage because this is where retention initiatives typically live, such as a strong development program, perks like flexible work hours and PTO time, and even contains one-off events like happy hours, team-building exercises, and loads more.

But what about the last stage? What about offboarding? And, more importantly, what about an involuntary termination like a layoff or RIF? These stressful events all take place in the third stage of the employee lifecycle and all of them are rarely talked about.

Despite that fact, these issues have an immense impact on how the organization is perceived, how staff members feel like they are valued, how engaged they are, and how long they will be retained into the future.

How You Handle Layoffs Directly Impacts Your Retention Rates

Layoffs, no matter the reason they are held, always have the power to negatively impact an organization because they can cause negative press via the internet and word of mouth, cause survivor sickness, create retention problems within the surviving group, and also decrease employer branding enough to impact talent acquisition.

In short, poorly executed layoffs have the power to impact all stages of the employee lifecycle at once.

This problem is made all the worse because many organizations simply do not like talking about layoffs or RIFs. It’s a touchy subject that, because of its negative connotations, is ignored completely.

This is problematic.

If an organization pays close attention to onboarding and development to keep their staff members retained and engaged, they should also pay close attention to how they are let go.

Even in the best of economic times, layoffs can still pop up, meaning that organizations should always be ready to layoff staff members if they need to.

So what’s the answer?

Simple: outplacement.

For CHROs, Careerminds Outplacement Is a Secret Retention Tool

Careerminds outplacement, as a refresher, is a service that helps displaced workers find a new role by pairing them up with expert resume writers and career coaches.

Individuals that go through the program have the support they need to transition to a new job without all of the stress and confusion that oftentimes happens when they go it alone.

While it is a service, Careerminds outplacement should be perceived more as a benefit – one of the only benefits that help iron out the later-stages of the employee lifecycle.

You can read all about how outplacement works here. For even more information, check out some of our other outplacement articles here.

So, back to the question at hand, how does outplacement impact your organization’s retention rates?

When an organization provides outplacement to displaced workers, they are showing an immense level of support. This support sends a signal to surviving staff members that the organization cares about their people even when they are being let go.

Without support, displaced workers have to fend for themselves. They immediately question if they will have enough severance to last their job hunt. They can immediately turn against the company, posting reviews online and decreasing the likelihood that top tier talent will apply for jobs when they become available. Their coworkers will start to question if they are next.

But, with the help of Careerminds outplacement, these tensions are softened. The program enables people to continue their lives with a reduced amount of stress while also showing the survivors that they will be taken care of, too.

In other words, outplacement retains staff members when a downsizing event happens, significantly reducing the chance that a layoff event will cause a runaway retention problem throughout the company. With survivors retained, the company can continue moving forward meeting their goals for the future.

How CHROs Can Provide Outplacement

In summary, outplacement is one of the very few benefits that addresses the end of the employee lifecycle by providing support for displaced workers.

At Careerminds, we work as strategic partners by providing support for both managers and those that are being laid off. If requested, our experts will provide comprehensive RIF manager training sessions that will help the organization hold the entire layoff event from start to finish.

Once a layoff occurs, staff members are enrolled into our outplacement program by first meeting their dedicated, one-on-one career coach and having their resume rewritten by a professional.

We will then provide support in the form of job search help, interview prep, personal branding assistance, and much, much more. We also work with every participant until they land their next role. We never use term limits.

Combining all of these elements can help CHROs ensure that their staff members are fully supported during one of the most stressful events of their lives. Plus, by showing this level of support, organizations can rest easy knowing that their brand will remain intact and their talent strategy will not take a hit.

With Careerminds outplacement, top-notch HR leaders fix a historically under-served section of the employee lifecycle, helping make their organization a number one choice for talent.

We’d love to learn how our outplacement programs can support your entire organization. If you’re interested, feel free to drop us a line here so we can understand you and your staff member’s unique needs.

Josh Hrala

Josh Hrala

Josh is an HR journalist and ghostwriter who's been covering outplacement and offboarding for over six years. Before pivoting to the HR world, he was a science journalist whose work can be found in Popular Science, ScienceAlert, The Huffington Post, Cracked, Modern Notion, and more.

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