Lyndy van den Barselaar, MD of Manpower SA. Image: Supplied.

DURBAN - Today’s uncertain market and workplace dynamics mean that employers, and their employees, have to be prepared for change.

Changes in the workplace are inevitable and retrenchment is an unfortunate reality for many South African businesses, regardless of size or sector. 

"Maintaining credibility during retrenchment is not only about protecting the reputation of the business, but is focused on ensuring that both outplaced and remaining employees are given the support they require," explained Lyndy van den Barselaar, managing director at ManpowerGroup South Africa. 

Restructuring may be required to realign business and talent strategies when economic realities or market demands change. 

"While this is true, organisations need to be aware of how this affects the lives of their employees and do what they can to ensure those being outplaced are supported in terms of factors like coping skills, skills development, job search, and future employment – and this can be done through adopting intelligent outplacement strategies with the right partner," said van den Barselaar. 

For employers, adopting intelligent outplacement strategies can ensure both existing and exiting employees remain supportive of their brand and business. Business can adopt strategies to provide transitioning employees with:

1. Coaching and assessments to help them determine next steps

2. Lifelong learning resources for skills development purposes

3. Targeted job leads and access to job resource consultants

4. Innovative tools and resources to help them land jobs faster

Credibility can be hard to earn and easy to lose, especially when it comes to the retrenchment process. The success of intelligent outplacement is based heavily on choosing the right partner for the organisation, to assist with developing and implementing a tailored solution that is based on a demonstrated knowledge of the local market. 

"Importantly, we encourage employers not to forget about those employees that will be remaining with the organisation – they often need support, too, in terms of dealing with the changes," said van den Barselaar.

If they are dealt with positively and proactively, outplacement strategies can become a win-win-win proposition – assisting the outplaced employees with coping skills and next steps, assuring existing employees, and ensuring the employer remains credible throughout. 

"While retrenchment may be a reality for many South African businesses, it does not have to be seen as completely negative if it is dealt with correctly and ethically," concluded van den Barselaar.  

Lyndy van den Barselaar, managing director at ManpowerGroup South Africa.