Managing Employee Reactions to Outplacement

Employee Stages of Termination 

As in the case of other traumatic life events, those experiencing job loss often experience many emotions, including:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Depression, and
  • Acceptance.

Many people intrinsically view themselves as being tied with the company or entity for whom they work.  When they are terminated, not only can they go through many of these emotions, but if they do not quickly find a new job, their sense of self-worth and ability to move forward can be severely diminished.

Depression, Anxiety, and Mental Health Issues in Job Loss

Job loss can be rough.  Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues frequently occur.  Most employees facing job loss and an uncertain future will likely experience these emotions.  Often employees express these emotions through statements like:

  • This isn’t fair.
  • Why did this happen to me?
  • I’ve worked hard for a long time – couldn’t they have kept me?
  • Other employers won’t hire someone my age – they want the younger folks who will work long hours for a lot less money.
  • I’ve got years of seniority for pension benefits.  I’m not going to get these benefits anywhere else.
  • How will I pay the bills and the college tuition for my kids?

We Provide an Independent Listening Ear for Employee Concerns 

As we are independent from the company or organization engaging in the workforce reduction, employees often feel like they can share their true feelings with us.  They are not burdened by past relationships or interactions with us.  Moreover, they know that part of our job and the services we provide includes listening to them and their concerns (and we are good listeners).

Frequently, employees simply want someone who will take the time to listen to their concerns and provide validation to their emotions.  Getting through this stage is often critical in obtaining a new job, as employees must get beyond this stage and not focus on what is lost, but instead look forward to the opportunities that exist.

As part of our services, we take the time to listen to employees, help them develop the real skills and focus they will need in their job search, and give them the positive reinforcement to move forward.