Firing with Compassion – and Compensation (a nice severance package)-Outplacement is Even More Necessary in Today’s workplace
The firings will continue, but do they have to be so mean? When downsizing began a few decades ago, managers were advised to use a “surgical” approach when letting employees go. No warmth was shown for a person who spent twenty years working by your side. Back in the 1970′s, I knew two men who went home, had heart attacks, and literally died from the brutality. But at least companies started to appreciate the importance of outplacement, and more employees were offered this service.
Today, the firings go on, but they can be handled in a humane manner. The problem is not simply one of compassion, but also one of compensation. Employees are getting smaller severance packages and shorter outplacement programs. Full outplacement–until reemployment–is routinely being replaced with programs that may be three months in length or even shorter. Just as the job hunter is getting up-to-speed, the outplacement ends. The former employee feels as if he or she has been fired all over again.
The Five O’Clock Club, of course, sees a person through his or her entire search. But coaches at The Five O’Clock Club are employee advocates. We want to do what is best for our clients, heping them negotiate their severance package as well as asking for outplacement help.
Half of those who attend The Five O’Clock Club are employed. Most are at the professional level; many are mid- to senior-level executives. If they lose their jobs, they have a Five O’Clock Club coach with whom they can meet privately. Many of our clients are with small firms, which have no relationship with an outplacement firm. The Five O’Clock Club coach will help them speak with their firms about their severance packages including outplacement. In addition, our clients are often able to increase the length of their benefit from a short to a lengthier outplacement program. A number of other clients have negotiated with their firms for Executive Coaching–to help them do better in their present jobs.
Outplacement services are not frivolous. Despite the massive and continuous restructuring of corporations, employees who must look elsewhere often have a difficult time knowing where to look. Many have to change industries, but which industries are the best ones for them? If top management can’t figure out the economy enough to keep their companies stable, how can they expect average workers to figure out where they should look next in this tumultuous market? Companies must help their employees during these transitions even more now than they did in the 1970′s and 1980′s.
We wish you growth–in personal satisfaction, inner peace, and financial comfort (including a fair severance package that includes outplacement). You’ve been busy with your career. It probably won’t get any easier. So we’ll travel along with you. Be sure to read our article on severance negotiation: “Negotiating your Severance.” It’s very comprehensive and includes case studies and strategies for your negotiation sessions.