In their shoes   

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Transitional periods in any company are times of upheaval.  It’s important to take your employees’ wellbeing into consideration and to look at what is happening from their point of view. In their shoes, what would you want to know to be kept informed? What information, communication, support and advice would you expect from your own employer?

In the loop

Being kept in the loop is the most important part of the process. The ‘fear of the unknown’ needs to be kept to the minimum. Not knowing only cause unnecessary stress for your employees. As you become aware of ongoing developments, make sure that you pass that information on to your workforce. In this instance, transparency is always the best policy. This way, everyone is up to speed on where they stand.  Sometimes it’s even worth updating your team, even when there is nothing new to update them on.

Future direction

When it comes to looking at your employees’ future direction, you need to help them look at what their options are and how best to pursue them. Keep communication as a two-way street. Your input is essential as to where ‘you’ and ‘they’ see themselves in the future. Many employees take career transition as a chance to try something new and untried for them, career-wise. See how they can make their skills count, in roles where they will feel fulfilled. Most importantly, make sure that they don’t lose confidence and are able to retain enthusiasm. Your reassurance is key to their attitude going forward.

Positive connections

Make sure that your employees don’t think that their redundancy reflects on them and their capabilities. Changes are made for a myriad of reasons and it’s important that it’s not seen as a reflection on their input.  Maintaining morale, even when things may not look rosy, is important for both individuals and for your team as a unit. Try to keep the positives of redundancy to the fore, with the accent on ‘new opportunities’ and ‘fresh challenges’. But bear in mind how you would want to be kept informed if it was happening to you.  Use this knowledge to connect with your own workforce during these difficult times. It’s a good indicator to gauge your own level of engagement and how you yourself, with due consideration, would like to be treated.

Passion back in fashion

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Whether you’re running you own business, or responsible for being part of a wider team, it’s important to instil confidence in your capabilities to those around you. It’s crucial that you recognise the importance of passion for your organisation and of wanting it to succeed – even when you and it are faced with outside challenges.


Challenging times

There are many challenges a company can face in the course of its lifespan. From competition from rival businesses, to changes in the market and changes in demand for its product or services. Economic uncertainty can sometimes undermine confidence and positivity at work. It’s important not to let such aspects affect the work environment.


What comes naturally

There are many ways you can evoke passion at work. However, it’s something you can’t learn or teach. People either have it, or they don’t. It helps if you are doing a job that you love, in a field that you are knowledgeable and passionate about. It’s also important for staff to stay enthusiastic about their jobs. A thirst for knowledge or someone who enjoys their work is a huge benefit to any company. Such individuals should be retained, as their positive impact is a big asset. Having a passion for a job usually means that they are good at it too.


Part of the team

Employees who feel they contribute to the company and are not undervalued by their employers are also likely to feel more passionate about their role in the business.  If they take part in meetings and feel as though they can positively improve the company, they are more likely to be loyal and stick around too. Passionate employees will constantly be striving to improve themselves. If they enjoy it, they may not even know that they are achieving this. Reading up on industry developments, for enjoyment, or socialising with like-minded individuals, are good indicators that they have a passion for the sector. Such natural self-improvement is worth its weight in gold.


Dispelling doubts

It’s easy to get passionate about something you enjoy. However, if there are signs that enthusiasm is flagging, it could be an indication that it’s time for change. HR managers should look for signs in their staff that they may not be as happy or passionate as they once were. This could be the moment to engage with a career coach, to identify where their strengths and weaknesses are and areas where there is room for improvement. Dips in productivity or changes in behaviour are good indicators of doubts.


Coaching back on track

Career coaches can have a positive impact on a workforce in a variety of ways. Being able to communicate with someone who can identify and help staff is a big help to morale. Simply talking to someone about their job can sometimes instil passion. Or it can help staff reconnect with what made them enjoy a role in the first place. In challenging times and in challenging situations, such reassurance can make all the difference in terms of passion and positive morale boosts.

Communicating change to your organisation

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Rather than being an optional extra, internal communications plays an entirely central role in the success or failure of any organisation’s commitment to change. This is because change is always difficult territory to navigate. Comfort zones aren’t always easy to stretch and old habits die hard. There is a lot to consider but these general rules of thumb can help.

Establish the rationale

You need to know exactly why you are implementing the change, so that you can define your goals and give your change initiative credibility.

Create measurable goals

Having set goals will allow you to identify the success of your communications initiative during its implementation.

Establish a detailed plan of action

Plan out what needs to be said to who, when and how, to guide the implementation process.

Tailor your messages

Craft your messages to suit the different types of people involved in your organisation. These should be jargon-free and relevant to their line of work. Make sure everyone knows exactly what it is that is expected of them individually during and after the period of change.

Use opportunities to communicate face-to-face

This method builds trust and is immeasurably more effective than any other form of communication. It is especially important with issues that directly impact people’s work and life.

Involve senior officials in the communications process

Messages of change are much more credible and more likely to be accepted when given from the very top of the organisation.

Keep all messages consistent

Mixed messages are likely to discredit change as people will become confused, paving the way towards frustration and cynicism.

Keep messages regular

People need to be kept updated about change frequently. This can be done most effectively by regular face-to-face meetings, complemented by other methods such as emails, bulletins and newsletters.

Gather feedback and listen to employees

This will allow you to measure the success of your change initiative. It also builds trust and defuses potential problems before they can become serious issues.

The inside scoop on outplacement

Research has demonstrated that losing your job is one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through, outside of death and divorce. However, we may all encounter outplacement at some point in our working lives, so it’s useful to understand the basics of how it works.

Changes over time

Outplacement is a support service that is offered by companies to help their former employees find new posts. The reasons why staff may receive outplacement can be many and varied. For instance, they can include changes due to business circumstances or restructuring.  Likewise, expansion and relocation. A specialist outplacement consultancy can provide the outplacement services. In most cases, these will be paid for and arranged by the employer. The outcomes are achieved usually through interview conversations, training materials and workshops.  As a result, these can be on a one-to-one basis, or in groups of all sizes. In addition, outplacement is also there to reassure the staff who remain at the company and stabilise the situation for the company as a whole.

The term ‘outplacement’ was first coined over 30 years ago by James E. Challenger, the founder of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based career consultancy. Challenger created the concept of outplacement and devised the initial programs to implement it. Since then, outplacement has become a key component in many businesses’ strategy for management. In particular, with the increase in downsizing, stabilising, redundancies and layoffs that occurred, particularly during the 1980s and ‘90s.

Specialist advice

Outplacement specialists such as Career Evolution are run by industry experts. They are professional coaches and mentors. As a result, they have a great deal of experience and knowledge of how to approach employees who are undergoing periods of transition in their workplace, which are often not of their making. Those taking part in the sessions may be feeling resentful towards their former employers. In addition, they may feel resentment towards those carrying out the outplacement too.

They may need assistance to cope with change. Therefore, that is why it is important that advisors have backgrounds in outplacement, career transition, career management and coaching. Consequently, some outplacement consultancies also offer psychological support in appropriate cases. Most importantly, they always have their clients’ best interests at heart.      

Future options

Topics under discussion in outplacement sessions may include such useful and practical aspects as career guidance, career evaluation and job search skills.  In addition, CV writing, preparing and rehearsing for an interview, and negotiating skills. They may also help participants develop networks of contacts, both online and in person. In most instances, through social media and networking sessions. The period of transition will very much guide the length of time that the outplacement guidance process will take, from a few weeks to months.

It’s not just about finding a new job for outplaced staff. Future options can also include starting their own business, becoming self-employed or even retiring. In some cases, clients may find that a portfolio career may suit them better.  This would include several part-time or consultancy roles that integrate together into a whole, sometimes across a variety of sectors. Outplacement takes on even greater importance in the current economic climate, which is delivering its own set of challenges and uncertainties. Above all, being aware of the options for your staff and how they can benefit from outplacement is something that every company should consider.