RiseSmart executive discusses the importance of creating loyal brand ambassadors by treating their former and transitioning employees as valuable alumni.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – May 7, 2014 – Far too often, when layoffs are mismanaged they can result in resentment from both impacted employees and remaining workers left feeling overwhelmed by a larger workload and a significant shift in structure. This situation can be avoided, however, through careful planning and emphasis on treating all employees, including those exiting, with dignity and respect.

Karen Stevens, vice president of practice strategy at RiseSmart, the leader in enterprise career management solutions, has identified five key factors to consider when it comes to protecting your employer brand during a restructuring event.

1. Recognize the importance of a positive employer brand. “All employees, past or present, help perpetuate an organization’s employer brand, and the image that companies project is correlated with the level of talent they are able to attract,” says Stevens. “In order to successfully brand themselves as an employer of choice, companies need to show their employees that they value them, even – and perhaps especially – when they are letting them go. Offering a severance package and career transition services to exiting employees sends a clear and definitive message that every individual is valued as an employee.”

2. Reinforce the fact that downsizing is not linked to job performance. “During corporate downsizing, impacted individuals are let go due to restructuring,not performance,” says Stevens. “If employees understand that being let go is not a reflection of their own performance, they will not be as likely to cast the organization in a negative light. Building and communicating the business case for the downsizing or reorganization is a critical component of this process.”

3. Recognize the potential for rehiring talent in the future. “Given the cyclical nature of the workforce, opportunities may arise in the future to rehire talent,” said Stevens. “From a talent acquisition perspective, a downsized employee could be the strongest candidate to fill a position elsewhere in the company. When companies offer a more robust career transition program, including redeployment of displaced employees, it can evoke more positive feelings around the employer brand. This will increase the likelihood of employees returning to the company because they feel valued there.”

4. Consider how employee perception of downsizing shapes employer brand messaging on social media. “Social media outlets and employer review sites likes Glassdoor are specifically designed to consolidate employee feedback, and negative comments about employers can be disseminated to a much broader audience around the globe than ever before,” says Stevens. “When career transition programs help individuals adjust during times of change, it often results in more positive and consistent employer brand messaging.”

5. Integrate career transition services into a company’s HR strategy. “In order for outplacement or career transition solutions to be most effective, the approach should be integrated into the company’s overall HR strategy,” advises Stevens. “The way a company treats and supports its employees during the exit process is highly important. If companies want to remain competitive in recruiting top talent, they need to be proactive about their employer brand. It is critical to remember that downsized employees continue to serve as employer brand ambassadors well after their tenure ends.”

Losing a job can be a difficult experience for employees, and this type of life-changing event evokes a spectrum of feelings and emotions. Transitioning employees should not be overlooked as a part of the talent community—whether or not those employees are staying with an organization or exiting it, they are and should be treated as brand ambassadors for the company.

As RiseSmart President and CEO Sanjay Sathe says, “Your employees are your biggest assets, inside of the company and out. When you honor them as such, then--and only then--will you earn positive word of mouth.”

For more information on RiseSmart’s enterprise career management solutions and the impact they can have on your organization’s employer brand, please contact a sales representative at 877-384-0004 or sales@risesmart.com.

About RiseSmart

RiseSmart is a leader in enterprise career management solutions that drive employee engagement, improve retention, and burnish employer brands. Through its employee-centric career-management platform, RiseSmart Compass, and its results-oriented outplacement solution, RiseSmart Transition, RiseSmart helps high-performing organizations successfully cultivate passionate, engaged employees and loyal alumni ambassadors. RiseSmart's innovative approach to human capital management has earned the company a wide range of awards and recognition from organizations including Bersin by Deloitte, the Best in Biz, Gartner Inc., the Golden Bridge Awards, LAROCQUE, the Momentum Index, Red Herring, the San Francisco Business Times, SiliconIndia, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, the Stevie Awards and TIE. Additionally, RiseSmart’s outplacement solution has earned the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association. For more information about how enterprise career management can help you, visit http://www.risesmart.com.

07 May 2014

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