I started in the Outplacement business here in the Philippines back in 2001. Until today, I still get the surprised look when people ask me what I do. “You mean companies engage your services to help terminated employees? They already received the severance package mandated by law.” Yes, companies in the Philippines have been using Outplacement services.
It was not always this way. In the early years, only the multinational companies used Outplacement because it was required by corporate head office especially those based in the US and Europe. Slowly word got around of the benefits of Outplacement. HR leaders who have implemented Outplacement were the biggest change agents as they brought this mind-set when they transferred to other companies. Around 2010, we had our first totally Filipino company to use this service. Today, selected Filipino companies use Outplacement.
What is Outplacement? Outplacement is a structured approach towards helping terminated employees move on to their next career paid by the company initiating the change. It is a way for companies to show that they care for these employees as part of their “malasakit” and corporate social responsibility.
In the age of digital disruption and business transformation, companies have to constantly change business models just to survive. Many large companies are now going through very difficult times. Change is a must and no longer an option. Unfortunately, some of these changes will include loyal, hardworking employees to lose their job. We must not forget that;
These employees did nothing wrong. It is not their fault that they are laid-off.”
Outplacement has benefits to both the Company and to the impacted employee. The most significant for the Company is that it supports employee engagement. By taking care of the employees that leave you take care of the employees that stay. We have plenty of examples of terminated employees sending back thank you notes to their former Company. Messages that warms the heart and gives strength to the remaining employees to say; “This is the kind of Company I would like to work for. If it happens to me, they will also support my transition.” Other benefits to the Company are protection of the corporate brand especially in social media.
The terminated employee will feel at a loss what to do next, what to say to people and how to behave. The Outplacement process gives the employee the framework he/she badly needs. The period of transition is also the time to make a choice. Shall I find another job, start a business, retire, immigrate, study, etc. Outplacement helps the employee to stand back and perform a rational career decision. Finally, Outplacement has shown that those in the program find a job 50% faster.
In the age of digital disruption, companies need to be quick in making a decision and execute the changes without hesitation to remain competitive. Unfortunately, people issues have often delayed the process. Best practices have shown that by adopting Outplacement as part of the change, companies are more agile while doing the right thing for the employees especially those whose jobs have disappeared.
About the Author
Vicente KILAYKO - Director, LHH Philippines
Vicente “Binky” Kilayko is a Director of Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) Philippines. LHH has more than 7,800 customers around the world and we are the global partner to 50% of the Fortune 1000 organizations. For over 20 years, we have helped companies in the Philippines reorganize by taking care of employees that are laid-off find their next career.