I wanted to share some of our experiences and learnings in the field of transition support for companies and their people during redundancies, and what a privilege it has been to partner with the Specsavers team to witness first hand the profound impact coaching support can make in times like these.

In the height of lockdown in April 2020, we were approached by Specsavers to explore how we could partner with them to create an outplacement transition programme. They were heading into a rightsizing project to respond to the impact of COVID19 and having to take the challenging step of preparing to let people go through redundancy. For a highly successful and growing business, this had hit hard and redundancies had not been something they had ever needed to do at scale – it was a new learning curve for them.

Unfulfilled by what was on offer in the outplacement market, especially when it came to affordability and the need to adapt to the remote / social distancing context, it quickly became clear where and how our Mindbeat mobile coaching platform, webinars and virtual coaching service could offer support.

Letting people go from your business is a tough decision under any circumstance, and to approach this during lockdown, after a period of massive uncertainty, remote working, furlough and just when the world economy had been tipped upside down, we knew we faced an intense and unprecedented situation.

Specsavers didn’t want to simply wash their hands of the outplacement service, they wanted to co-create an approach so that they could be rest assured they had done everything they could to help their leavers experience a personal, tailored and flexible transition programme. Their goal was for their valued colleagues to leave feeling cared for and with a lasting positive feeling about their brand so that they feel good about a potential return when tides turned. This was truly heart-warming and inspiring to hear and instantly we felt a strong alignment with our purpose and values at Mindbeat.

We had a mutual belief that it was critical to support people through empowering them and helping them to build confidence during these devastating economic times. With that backdrop we partnered together to create a programme which is now live and supporting over 300 people.

A few weeks into the programme going live, we knew we were doing the right things. I caught up with our Head of Coaching Jo Payne and our Product Design Lead Riddhima Kowley moments after one of the first round of webinars – they were emotionally moved and said to me they had just “witnessed first-hand how incredibly powerful and transformative our support is” and “how humbling it is to be reminded that coaching skills are so valued by our clients during a transition like this”. None of this would have been possible without the amazing partnership, dedication, talent and passion of our coaches – thank you Dom, Laurenne, Janie and Riddhima – and our project management team, thank you Eugenia and Emily!

If you are interested in knowing more about the Outplacement Transition Support programme, please [email protected] for an informal conversation.