Thursday, September 1, 2005

Outplacement counseling helps displaced employees

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, September 01, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Outplacement counseling helps displaced employees

THANK you Enrico Belmonte for your e-mail: “Innovation and invention are used interchangeably in everyday language. Peter Drucker differentiated them this way: Invention is creating something new and original like devices or processes, innovation is putting the invention to commercial use. Thus, invention is technology and innovation is commerce.

“Oftentimes, inventors and innovators are not the same people. Swan invented the incandescent lamp, but Edison commercialized it. A small software company invented DOS. Bill Gates bought it for a song and made a killing by licensing it to IBM. Engineers from Xerox Parc invented the PC. Steve Jobs copied it and built the first commercial version—Apple. There are exemptions. Karl Benz invented the automobile and established a car-manufacturing company—Mercedes Benz (named after his daughter).

“In companies, inventors and innovators must work together to produce new products and services. Distinguishing these two types of creativity can spell the difference between success and failure. Asking innovators to invent and inventors to innovate could be disastrous.”

Indeed, these inventors and innovators make life in business challenging and fulfilling and the business of life exciting and comfortable. Years ago, when companies streamline their operations, they retrench their employees, give them separation benefits and wish them luck.

Now one company has innovated on such experience and is advancing the concept and professional service of outplacement counseling. DBM Philippines helps companies manage changing workforce during restructuring by helping employees affected by this change and resultant job loss.

From a company’s standpoint, the decision to terminate an employee or group of employees is not without legal, public relations and business implications, as well as being traumatic for the manager undertaking the termination. From a personnel perspective, terminations can be physically, emotionally and financially devastating.

Outplacement counseling can be a significant support to minimize the trauma from the employee and the organization. “Helping retrenched employees update their resume or interview skills is only a small but key component of transition,” says Vicente “Binky” Kilayko, director of DBM Philippines. “An individual outplacement program provides coaching, counseling, training and job search for displaced employees. Such program may include relocating to a new job more in line with values, strengths and career goals, starting a business, returning to school, investigating active retirement and becoming involved in a totally different, but nonetheless interesting, endeavor. DBM’s statistics show that the vast majority of dislodged employees get back into the workforce faster, find positions equal to or greater than their previous job, and the overall reemployment rate is better than 95 percent.

“This is a service that beleaguered companies could provide, through us, to their employees. We partner with them in developing and implementing strategy, policy, programs, communication and regulatory compliance during squeeze times. These companies could then focus unperturbed on the business of getting their operations and performance back on track or of attaining targets for business excellence.”

But as my favorite TV talk-show host Suze Orman would say, “Remember people first, then things, then money.” Increasing global competition, mergers and acquisitions, downsizings and productivity improvement as well as commitments to customers, shareholders and board of directors might force some companies to make numerous adjustments; yet people should be the last “resource” cut.

If all else fails, still don’t. Life is hard enough with a job, how much more without a regular pay.

Thanks for unlimited blessings of friendships. From former PAL Maintenance Engineering big boss Pons Tuano Jr.: “Hope the attached check for your teacher training program is not too late else you can use it for your other programs at Tatalon Elementary School. Wish to help personally, but am busy nowadays with grandchildren, church activities and others. Wish you continued success.”

God bless your kind heart, Pons, and also Rotary District 3780 potential governor, Alex Cureg, for his generous contribution. The whole day yesterday, I ran around chasing paper and people for our application for financial assistance with a US-based foundation. It was soooooo tiring. It is the kind of tiredness that brings a smile in your face, because you know that people care for each other and, given the opportunity, will extend their wholehearted help. Please keep your contributions coming.

(Moje is president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and RC Quezon City North. She awaits your feedback at

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