In my recent articles, I’ve been exploring the role of outplacement within the social responsibility requirements of an organisation – both in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the social licence to operate (SLTO).
To recap, the SLTO refers to an informal licence granted to an organisation by the community. It covers a range of social responsibilities that fulfil an organisation’s commitments to the wider community and is based on principles of legitimacy, credibility, and trust.
Whether in the context of maintaining the SLTO or meeting CSR obligations in general, it’s clear that conducting business in the best interests of those who are impacted by its practices is beneficial to the community. But does fulfiling these social responsibilities also benefit the organisation itself? In other words, is ‘doing good’ also good for business?
In this article, I’ll be looking into the business benefits of fulfilling your SLTO requirements, and how making outplacement a part of your social responsibility practices can offer a number of advantages to your organisation.
The Business Benefits of Being Socially Responsible
While working to maintain your SLTO should not be something that’s undertaken purely to benefit your organisation, knowing your company’s positive actions can also reap rewards is a nice bonus.
So what does the research tell us about businesses who make proactive efforts to earn their social licence? Let’s look at the statistics…
When it comes to the impact of social good on your bottom line, the results are clear; a 2017 global study showed that 77% of consumers would choose to pay more to purchase from companies demonstrating community responsibility, while 56% of participants in a Neilson survey said “a brand being known for its social value” was a top purchasing driver.
Research by Cone Communications found that nearly two-thirds of young people won’t take a job at a company with poor CSR practices, while a Deloitte study found that a whopping 70% of millennials listed their company’s commitment to the community as an influence on their decision to work there. What’s more, engaging in socially-valuable projects can reduce employee turnover by around 50%.
Improved brand image
The effect of proactive social responsibility has a direct correlation with positive brand impression – 87% of consumers say they’d be willing to buy a product or service based on the company’s advocacy around a social matter, while 76% would decline to do business with a company that held views which conflicted with their beliefs.
More social impact, more output? Apparently so. Studies have revealed that using prosocial incentives (rewarding employees not with money, but with the company performing an act that benefits society) led to improved productivity in both simple and complex tasks, and even reduced employees’ wage demands.
The Advantage of Making Outplacement Part of Your SLTO Efforts
As discussed in previous articles on maintaining a social licence, outplacement support can and should form part of your SLTO activities, as its impact extends to a number of community segments.
Outplacement demonstrates a commitment to support outgoing employees previously engaged by your business, has a positive effect on the mental health of surviving employees, and shows the wider community your willingness to proactively support members at every stage.
However, offering a supportive outplacement program can also yield a wide range of benefits for your organisation. Here are some of the ways an outplacement program can deliver corporate advantages:
Outplacement minimises the risk of a negative brand backlash
Employees who’ve been retrenched or made redundant are much less likely to share negative feedback about your company if they receive outplacement support. In fact, our own research revealed that 95% of people would be “far less inclined” to post adverse comments about their former employer had they been offered an outplacement program.
Providing outplacement helps surviving employees remain engaged
Proactively supporting outgoing employees via a comprehensive outplacement program sends a message to surviving employees that they too will be treated with fairness and respect. This can also help to reduce symptoms of survivor guilt and keep remaining employees engaged, productive, and motivated.
An outplacement program makes it easier to re-engage staff members
Should you need to refill positions in the future, calling on former employees rather than new hires can reduce costs by up to 50%, according to research by Glassdoor. Offering outplacement services makes it more likely your previous employees will leave with a positive impression and will therefore be open to becoming ‘boomerang employees’.
Outplacement support presents a strong brand image for future talent
With 64% of millennials stating they won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate responsibility practices, demonstrating your commitment to social responsibility via an outplacement program can help to establish your company as an Employer of Choice in the eyes of future talent.
Career365’s affordable online outplacement programs – delivered via online training modules and video-based coaching – coupled with video conferencing via Zoom, Teams or Skype can be accessed from any location, at any time, on any device, making them ideal for a COVID-19 environment.
If you need support or advice on outplacement services for retrenched employees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.career365.com.au to find out more about our fully online outplacement programs.
Greg Weiss has authored three books about career transitioning. He has deep expertise in outplacement and employee onboarding, and is the Founder of Career365 (formerly CareerSupport365) – a leading Australian employee transitioning firm, specialising in outplacement and employee onboarding.