Leading Through Change: Supporting Employees Through Career Transition

Career transitions and redundancy are inevitable in today’s dynamic work environment, affecting both workplaces and workers. Throughout our Leading Through Change three-article series, we have explored the profound impact of career transitions, equipping managers with essential guidance for managing the process effectively , and exploring strategies to support employees through these challenging times. Now, as we conclude this series, it’s crucial to emphasise the importance of proactive leadership in navigating these transitions and fostering a positive work culture during times of uncertainty.

When a colleague leaves, especially due to layoffs or restructuring, it can impact team morale. Offering support and guidance to departing employees can ease anxiety and uncertainty for them and the remaining team members. Organisations that actively support their employees through change can mitigate psychosocial risks like mental distress and, in the worst case, potential lawsuits. Additionally, such support enhances employee perception, engagement, and brand reputation. Most importantly though, it helps departing team members navigate a major life event. In this practical guide, we’ll explore actionable strategies for organisations to assist their employees through career change.

Leverage internal resources

During any period of transition, it’s important to orient yourself to your organisations internal support resources. Ensure you are aware of the range of support tools, how to access them, and what their benefits entail. In doing so, you can empower individuals to seek help in a way that suits them. For example, you may want to promote the use of your organisation’s EAP services. In this case, it’s important to understand how an employee can access the EAP services, what the process may look like, and how it might help them navigate change. Encouraging employees to utilise internal support resources reinforces the message that they are not alone during times of transition and that assistance is readily available.

Other internal resources:

* Wellbeing tipsheets

* Employee support networks

* Upskilling or career transition workshops

Consider some of our tips for managers to help you maintain a mentally healthy workplace or our workshops for better mental health and building resilience.

Developing: Assessment and coaching

In addition to leveraging internal resources, engaging external consultants with subject matter expertise in coaching and development can offer tailored support to employees who may be leaving the organisation or transitioning into new roles.

Psychometric Assessment for Development

Psychometric assessments provide valuable insights into an individual’s personality profile as well as their strengths, and areas for growth within the context of their roles and organisational goals. As such, this process provides a structured and objective way to identify personal and professional development opportunities which can be tailored to training and coaching programs. In the context of career transitions and organisational change, highlighting an individual’s competencies and work preferences can enable clarity for future direction as well as insights into key strengths to leverage. Thus, employees can be empowered to take ownership of their growth with new insights to help shape their goals.

Career Coaching

Often adopted in tandem with psychometric assessment, coaching is an effective tool to drive self-reflection and personal insight. In the context of career transition or workplace changes, coaching is an effective mechanism to create a shared language and help individuals establish goals and motivations. Additionally, coaching methods can be instrumental in promoting individual health and wellbeing. By fostering positive behaviours and mitigating the negative effects of change and redundancy, coaching offers a supportive pathway to personal development.

Looking for a coaching or assessment provider?

Our highly skilled team of Organisational Psychologists and qualified providers follow a systematic approach to conducting and interpreting psychometric assessments, while also ensuring a positive experience for employees. In addition to writing practical reports, our psychologists can also provide detailed verbal feedback and coaching to help people understand their strengths and realise their potential. Discover the transformative benefits of our psychometric assessment offering.

Positive re-engagement

As previously mentioned, the impacts of organisational change and redundancy extend widely and often encompass the experience of the remaining employees. Whilst support programs often target employees that are made redundant, it is also critical to support all employees as they transition through change. To manage engagement and prevent the negative impacts of poor change management, some quick wins to consider include:

1. Supporting positive exit rituals. When individuals leave an organisation, provide opportunities for farewell and acknowledgement of their contribution where possible.

2. Encourage open communication. During times of uncertainty, it’s important to be as open and transparent as possible. This includes sharing the nature of the changes and communicating a clear vision for the future.

3. Upskilling management. Remaining employees will undoubtedly be impacted by redundancies as various roles and business functions streamline. Consider opportunities for formalised professional development such as coaching, workshops, and training.

4. Seek feedback. Maintain an open-door policy that allows employees to provide feedback into organisational changes. Engage and consult with your workforce to drive shared accountability.

5. Recognition and appreciation. Acknowledge the contributions of remaining employees and express gratitude for their continued dedication during challenging times.

In conclusion, supporting employees through career transition and redundancy requires a multifaceted approach that addresses their emotional, psychological, and professional needs. By utilising internal resources, engaging external providers, and fostering positive re-engagement, organisations can empower their employees to navigate change with confidence and resilience. Ultimately, by investing in the well-being and development of their workforce, organisations can cultivate a culture of support, trust, and resilience that benefits both employees and the organisation.

As organisations strive to adapt to changing circumstances, the role of prepared leaders becomes paramount. Aspect’s Groups offers a comprehensive Prepared Leaders training program designed to equip managers with the necessary skills to support their teams through career transitions effectively. Additionally, our Advisory and Assessment services provide invaluable support to leaders, facilitating a smooth transition for employees and ensuring the continued success of the organisation. Together, let’s empower leaders to navigate transitions with confidence and compassion, creating a workplace where employees thrive and flourish.