Throughout their time with any given organisation, HR Managers and Directors oversee the whole employee lifecycle. Some of this process is exciting and full of hope for the possibilities the future holds – particularly conducting job interviews and onboarding employees. Other parts are a little more difficult, like letting employees go and organising offboarding processes.
These unpleasant parts of the job can be tricky to navigate and the conversations surrounding these events can leave HR Managers feeling stressed, guilty and frustrated that they are the bearers of the bad news in these situations.
Feelings like this are not uncommon in the world of HR. And they often come about because of a disconnect between the values an individual holds and the actions they are required to take.
Most people pursue a role in HR because they love working with people and want to see them thrive and be treated fairly in their workplaces. While letting people go is the ‘darker side’ of HR, there is room for values to shine through.
In my capacity as a career coach, I spoke with a HR Director recently who felt really down about needing to let some of their people go. The stresses in the lead up to the conversation, as well as the feelings afterward were significantly impacting their wellbeing as they tried to go about their job.
Values matter at every level of an organisation
Letting someone go is full of emotions so it’s important to act in a values-aligned way, no matter what the circumstances are surrounding the event. Everyone needs to be able to reconcile their emotions with their actions.
To do this, however, you need to know what your values are. I explore this a little more in my ‘Career Clarity’ eBook, helping you to understand what things motivate you. Regardless of what your values are, it’s important that your values and the values of your organisation overlap significantly. Organisational values will play out within the processes and structures of the organisation and if these values do not align with your own, you’re going to find it very difficult to reconcile what you are being asked to do – no matter your role – with your own emotions and thoughts on how things should be handled.
For many people working in HR, values overlap with ease. Compassion, empathy, trustworthiness and fairness are often top of the list.
Take ‘Alice’ for example. She is a HR Director at a large organisation in Sydney. She took time to identify her values before she started with this organisation. She realised that she valued taking responsibility, being prepared, proactivity, fairness and making a difference in the world.
These were things she valued within herself, as well as from the people around her, professionally and personally.
Processes like outplacement can help you stay values aligned
Knowing your values is the first step. The second step is making sure that the HR processes and structures you have in place are aligned with your values and the values of the organisation.
Alice has let her fair share of employees go throughout her career. Throughout her time with different organisations, she tried putting different structures in place to help those she needed to offboard. In her current organisation, she helps to provide outplacement support to departing employees.
Outplacement is the solution that she found to be most aligned with her values. It helped her take responsibility for exiting employees, helped those employees to be prepared for the job search, it was proactive in helping them prepare for the next role and the process treated them fairly throughout unfortunate circumstances.
When I speak to HR Directors like Alice, they all speak similarly about outplacement. Restructures and redundancy are often out of their hands but they are left to deliver the bad news to employees. Outplacement helps them regain some control, act in a way that aligns with their values and treat exiting employees with the respect they deserve.
If you are looking to deal with the more difficult side of HR, outplacement can be a great way to alleviate stress – for both you and the employees you work with.
Want to support your employees through restructures and redundancy with effective onboarding, stay interviews, offboarding and outplacement programs? Get in touch with me today to discover how Career365’s ReNEW Program can help to implement affordable outplacement for all your employees. Click here for more information.