June 16, 2021
At a Glance
Recovery Playbook for Impact Employers | Strategic, future-focused supports for exiting employees
Many companies have been forced to furlough or lay off workers during the crisis. Others are now grappling with such decisions as they slowly turn to stabilization and then recovery. Still more are realizing that layoffs are necessary for strategic restructuring following the rapid advancement of future-of-work trends such as automation.
Impact Employers understand that offboarding employees is just as important as onboarding them, and they invest accordingly. Departing employees can be brand ambassadors, future customers, or even return candidates for jobs at a company. Throughout the recovery period, Impact Employers will take responsible approaches to offboarding workers.
Offboarding employees under normal circumstances is tough. Add to it an economic recession, a national health crisis, and a labor market with an oversupply of unemployed individuals, and you’re faced with a dire situation. Corporate leaders are feeling an increased sense of responsibility to help displaced workers land on their feet. Furloughs and layoffs of this magnitude have seldom been experienced, and therefore companies may lack the necessary ethical and equitable internal policies for implementation. And, given the uncertainty around when the COVID-19 pandemic might end and when the economy will rebound, it is very difficult for leaders to make decisions around whether to furlough employees or conduct layoffs.
Relatedly, it can be challenging to make the case internally that spending additional funds on individuals who are leaving the company is a worthwhile investment, especially when the bottom line is already strained. In addition, offboarding in a virtual environment can feel cumbersome and isolating, given that employees may not be able to collect personal effects and/or properly say goodbye to coworkers in person.
How to Do It Well
Emerging Practices for an Equitable Recovery
- Remove technological barriers. Ensure that a lack of access to technology does not impede displaced workers’ efforts to find new opportunities. Provide access to computers so workers can look for new jobs.
- Connect current and past employees. Build active employee alumni groups to connect displaced employees to one another for strategic networking.
- Pay for useful career tools. Cover the cost of job search tools and platform subscriptions.
- Analyze your offboarding processes. Solicit feedback on your offboarding strategy. Survey offboarded employees at various points following offboarding, and monitor comments on workplace review websites.
- Connect with other businesses. Collaborate across businesses, industries, and sectors to relocate displaced workers.
- Make offboarding a strategic business function. Build and continually fund and maintain a dedicated offboarding function to ensure the availability of individualized services.
- Use your voice. Advocate for better public-sector support (e.g., portable benefits and tools, additional financial support, more innovative marketplace solutions, data-tailored support, or universal basic income).
- Provide next-level rewards. Offer benefits packages that go beyond basic compensation to include employer-sponsored health care, retirement savings, and disability and life insurance.
- Make it easy to take advantage of rewards. Offer resource navigators who can help employees manage a variety of life challenges, including child care, medical concerns, housing needs, and financial literacy.
- Personalize total rewards. Ensure that benefits that address specific employee challenges, such as transportation vouchers, classes for English language learners, financial planning services, and student loan payment support, are made available.
Receiving notice about the elimination of my position was definitely devastating, especially during the pandemic. Fortunately, I was able to leverage the Skills Accelerator Program that my company offers and partnered with Career Services’ representatives to successfully land on a new position. I attended a series of very helpful workshops that provided a lot of great tips on networking, interviewing, and creating a skills-based resume. In addition, I also worked very closely with an extremely insightful, kind, patient and encouraging Career Partner who helped me improve my resume, interviewing skills, and even my confidence level. Without her help, I don’t think I would’ve landed on a new position that quickly, so I’m really grateful for her time and assistance, as well as all of the other services that were provided as part of the program.Quan Au, senior technical systems analyst, Prudential Financial Inc.
We know our fleet won't stay with Postmates forever—that's the very nature of the work. We both recognize and embrace the eventual transition of our gig workforce by promoting open lines of communications and ensuring they have access to tools and resources to help them gain skills for their next adventure. Specifically, we've created what we call 'The Flexible Toolkit,' which is a one-stop shop for everything gig workers need to be successful both on and off of our platform—including access to career coaching, mock interviews, and advanced certifications from accredited universities and institutions—all at no cost to the participant.Claire Sands, director, Fleet Community Communications and Engagement, Postmates Inc.