Downsizing in Thailand? – Here’s what you need to know…
Talent Technologies offers employee outplacement in Thailand, in partnership with RSM Thailand. In this article, we look at the benefits that outplacement offers, as well as the value in choosing a fully-comprehensive solution.
Few occasions are more stressful in work than when you have to tell a colleague that he or she no longer has a job. Ranked by psychologists as the third most stressful situation we are likely to face in life, job loss is becoming a greater and greater reality as economic volatility prevails.
In spite of this, many companies are not prepared for the cost that employee lay-offs bring which are not only emotional but also financial. In Thailand, with a legal system clearly favouring the employees, companies need to be aware and plan any downsizing they do with precision.
The ‘4 Cs’ of Outplacement
To help companies, we have outlined the process as ‘The 4 Cs’ of employee outplacement, and hopefully it will give a clearer view of what managers need to do to make the outplacement as painless as possible, not only for the employee but also for the company.
The first C is Contractual. Before any decision to downsize, thorough due diligence needs to be done on a company’s contractual obligations to its employees under Thai and international law.
As Mark Butters, who heads RSM’s legal practice, puts it: ‘Objective number one for companies, I would say, is don’t go to Court. While the court system is purportedly impartial, the reality is that most cases that appear before a judge in Thailand tend to find in favour of the employee. So companies must do their utmost to avoid the courts where they can.’
‘But court cases can also be disastrous from a PR point of view. Most worrying of all for companies, they can easily spin into a class action with potential awards totalling tens of millions of Baht if disgruntlement is widely shared,’ he adds.
This is why, having completed their due diligence, companies need to manage the process with care. They need to follow the second and third Cs of ‘Communication and Coaching’.
Communication and Coaching
‘Having decided that they are safe contractually, some companies still slip up by not communicating effectively to the employees and botching what we call ‘the outplacement process’, adds Butters, ‘which is to help employees find new work as soon as possible.’
This part of the process is managed by Talent Technologies. ‘Being made redundant is stressful,’ explains Nicholas Henley, MD of the company. ‘Yet it is amazing how many people, once they are guided, are willing to embrace being laid off as an opportunity. The key for us is helping our participants reconnect to their dreams and true potential, and then discover a new path which fits their unique talents and goals, rather than blindly trawling for a new job.’
In a recruitment market that’s tougher than ever, it’s clear that employees need to be focused, well-prepared and able to articulate their strengths clearly – and that is what the ‘3rd C’ of the process is all about. Most importantly for companies, it gets the outplacees looking forward, not back, and replaces the negative energy of the job loss with a new, positive energy from within, which encourages the employee to see his or her circumstances anew and create a comprehensive career plan.
Which brings us to the fourth C – that of Career Progression. Not all outplacees will look for another job. Some will take the opportunity to go into further education. Others may choose to start their own business or take a break from work altogether. But for those who do, having the expert advice and guidance of professional recruiters is clearly an advantage.
This is where Mike Holloway of RSM Recruitment comes in. ‘Companies may take the above two measures,’ he explains, ‘but the clincher is getting our candidates into new positions. Candidates on our outplacement programme appreciate the day-to-day guidance and knowledge that we bring, as well as the awareness of market developments that other outplacement programmes simply may not have.’
In addition to this, he continues, in a tough market it’s critical for the recruitment consultant to have a deeper understanding of their candidates. ‘With the input we’ve received from the second phase of the process, coupled with our existing market knowledge, we can confidently approach employers with strong person/job matches, thereby giving our outplacees an edge which clearly makes a significant difference to their chances of being hired.’
Outplacement is regarded by some companies as a nice-to-have, or a means of softening the blow of being fired. As we’ve seen, a comprehensive outplacement programme minimises the risk of legal action and disgruntlement by moving the outplacees along to the next step of their chosen career path.
For an information pack on our comprehensive employee outplacement solution in Thailand, simply request information using this form or call our office on +662 6393550
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