5 Reasons Premium Outplacement Services Are the Humane and Strategic Choice when Letting People Go 

The decision to let go of employees is never easy. In addition to profoundly impacting the lives and well-being of individuals departing from the organization, it also deeply affects the morale, confidence and productivity of those remaining. In these emotionally charged moments, companies have a choice: navigate the transition with empathy and foresight, or risk reputational damage, legal woes, and diminished employer branding. This is where premium outplacement services emerge as the most desirable avenue, offering a win-win scenario for both the departing employee and the company. 

Beyond Compassion: The Strategic Value of Premium Outplacement 

Providing premium outplacement services is more than an act of compassion; it’s a strategic investment with tangible benefits for your organization. Here’s why:

1. Protect Your Employer Brand:

Companies make serious tangible and intangible investments in developing their employer brand. The way you treat departing employees speaks volumes about your company culture and values. Offering premium outplacement services demonstrates and confirms empathy, professionalism, and a commitment to ethical business practices. According to Andrew Challenger, How employees are treated as they leave an organization creates your alumni, whether they leave voluntarily or as part of a reduction in force… Taking care of your people as they leave gives former employees dignity and respect and helps keep an employer’s brand intact.” When employees leave a company involuntarily, they are faced with uncertainty about their future and a feeling of loss. Premium outplacement services have been proven to help secure a good job faster, which leaves departing employees with a sense of being cared for even during a difficult time. This resonates with potential candidates, positioning your company as an employer of choice and attracting top talent in the future.

Why this matters: companies offer outplacement to protect their employer brand through proving their commitment to departing employees and demonstrating actual empathy, which can lead to better ratings on employer review sites and better word-of-mouth and referrals from alumni and current employees.  

2. Fostering Goodwill and Maintaining Professional Relationships:

Even when separations are necessary, maintaining positive relationships with former employees is crucial. Per employer branding expert Alex Her, “There’s a lot of value in an alumni’s experience with your company. If the individual enjoyed their experience and were tenured, it tells a potential job seeker that the company offers stability, does a great job of retaining talent, and likely provided a pleasant offboarding experience.” Premium outplacement services, with their emphasis on career development and 1:1 people-led coaching, create a sense of goodwill and appreciation among departing individuals. This can lead to valuable future collaborations, networking opportunities, and positive word-of-mouth referrals.  

Why this matters: companies offer outplacement to foster goodwill and maintain professional relationships by committing to helping departing employees identify and find their next role. When an employee leaves involuntarily, the anxiety of finding their next role and uncertainty that involves is the main driver of negative sentiment about their former employer. Negating this by offering premium outplacement services and demonstrating this allegiance to helping them get find a good role faster, can lead to maintaining positive relationships between the company, management and departing staff, ultimately enabling future collaboration or business opportunities.  

3. Preserve Morale and Retention Among Remaining Employees:

Knowing that their colleagues are receiving comprehensive support (and shortening the length of their job search) during a difficult time can significantly boost morale among remaining employees. Hearing that they have received much-needed resources and seeing their social media posts about landing new jobs validates that the company does care about departing employees and reinforces commitment amongst those that remain. During these transitional times, it reduces anxiety, fosters trust in the company’s leadership, and minimizes negative impacts on productivity. Furthermore, premium outplacement services often include dedicated resources for remaining employees, providing guidance on navigating change and managing uncertainty. 

Why this matters: companies offer outplacement to preserve morale and retention among remaining employees recognize that “survivors” not only are concerned for their former colleagues, distressed because they may need to do the same work with less people, but most importantly want to know they would be taken care of if this ever happened to them. Knowing that the company provides premium outplacement as a severance benefit (something not always disclosed by the company but that employees generally find out word-of-mouth) can ease these concerns and this anxiety, enabling remaining employees to focus on the task at hand.  

4. Minimizing Legal Risk and Mitigating Reputational Damage:

Employee terminations, especially large-scale layoffs, can be fraught with legal complications. The four most commonly cited reasons for wrongful termination lawsuits are due to Discrimination, Retaliation, Breach of Contract and Violation of Public Policy. While premium outplacement services by no means can shield a company from any of these types of issues if they have occurred (nor should they), departing employees may be less litigious if they leave a company feeling supported, and with resources to shorten their time in transition. Instead of cultivating bitter feelings towards their former company and grasping for examples of instances where they felt wronged by management and their employer, those receiving outplacement services focus on positive strategies for their job search, receive additional resources to enable this search, and feel this support every time they interact with their coach.  

Why this matters: companies offer outplacement to minimize legal risk and reputational damage by providing departing employees with a 1:1 coach who serves as a guide for their job search. This helps focus the former employee’s energy on starting their search on the right foot, properly positioning themselves, and building and communicating their “story.” Coaches can empathize as well as focus on behaviors that will help their clients find their next job (redirecting negative energy or negative “stories” that may come across as red flags for future employers).  

5. Faster Redeployment Leads to Reduced Unemployment Costs:

Premium outplacement services go beyond simply helping clients find a new job; they empower individuals to land their ideal roles faster. Through personalized career coaching, expert resume and cover letter writing, targeted job search strategies, and intensive interview preparation, individuals gain the confidence and skills to stand out in the competitive market. This translates to quicker redeployment, minimizing unemployment periods for individuals and reducing unemployment insurance costs for your company. 

Why this matters: companies offer outplacement to control potential increases in unemployment tax costs recognize that SUTA (State Unemployment Tax Act) rate increases can have a lasting and notable impact (potentially higher rates for multiple years), and that the less departing employees “pull” from the “reserve” (through shorter amounts of time being unemployed) the less the potential rate increase.  

Ultimately, employers who care know that offering outplacement services for departing employees is the right thing to do, both for their business and for these former employees. According to Taylor Meadows, Head Strategist, Employer Brand at Glassdoor: “An involuntary termination, like a layoff or workforce reduction, is a gut punch for most; and not by any fault of their own. Being said, in addition to a generous severance package, assembling resource packs that include job search assistance and mental health support are table stakes. Best in class employers offer outplacement services that offer personal shepherding of employees to new experiences.  

Premium vs. Basic Outplacement: Investing in Excellence 

While basic outplacement services offer some benefits, premium services elevate the support to a whole new level, yielding exponential returns for your investment. Here’s what sets premium outplacement apart: 

  • Highly personalized coaching: Dedicated career coaches with extensive industry experience work closely with each individual, tailoring guidance and support to their unique skills, career goals, and emotional needs. This personalized 1:1 approach leads to more effective sessions and better results 
  • Expert branding and communication assistance: From crafting compelling resumes and LinkedIn profiles with the assistance of professional resume-writers to refining interview skills and salary negotiation strategies with their coach, premium services equip individuals with the tools to make a lasting impression on potential employers 
  • Emotional support: Recognizing the emotional toll of job transitions, coaches through premium services focus on listening and empathy 
  • Post-placement success tracking and ongoing support: Even after securing a new position, premium services offer ongoing guidance and support during the critical integration period, maximizing the chances of long-term career success, and provide reporting and tracking to employers for visibility of results and success 

The decision to offer outplacement services should not be considered solely as a cost, but as an investment in your company’s future. By choosing premium outplacement services, you demonstrate compassion, mitigate risks, strengthen your employer brand, and empower individuals to achieve success in their next chapter. 

At Challenger, Gray & Christmas, we believe that every individual deserves a dignified and successful career transition. Our premium outplacement services are designed to empower individuals and mitigate the challenges of job loss, while protecting and enhancing your company’s reputation and value. 

Contact us today to learn more about how our tailored solutions can help you navigate challenging transitions with integrity and strategic foresight.