• Sarah Rodehorst

Severance Automation: Invest in Peace of Mind

Updated: Jan 26

Workforce reductions can quickly become one of those “wake me up when this is over” things, but they don’t have to be as agonizing as they sound. By embracing severance automation, you can make your reduction smart, fast, and compliant.


Let’s take a look at a few of the perks of the automation offered by Onwards HR.


1 - Spend Less Time

When it’s time to cut costs and, in turn, employees, it’s important to efficiently calculate severance, generate severance packages, and manage offboarding tasks. This saves time itself, and it also saves money yielded by reducing administrative time spent. Most Human Resource information systems (HRIS) have limited functionality when it comes to severance automation, meaning the bulk of the work still falls to your HR staff. Rather than watching HR flounder in a sea of spreadsheets and emails, automation can allow your staff to focus on the people part.


2 - Mitigate Legal Risk

Workforce reductions require that employers are at the peak of their compliance game. We help analyze past, current, and upcoming severance events for compliance with the WARN Act, Mini-WARNs, ADEA, ADA, and Title VII. Most importantly, employers want to maintain appropriate documentation in the event that the Department of Labor (DOL) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wants to chat.

By using compliance assessment tools to emphasize consistency and objectivity, you can mitigate wrongful termination and discrimination claims, as well as other unintended consequences that can negatively impact your organization. After the layoff criteria has been established, it’s important to review the list of potentially impacted employees. This data can be analyzed to determine if a protected class is disproportionately affected.

Layoffs can be stressful, emotional, and difficult to navigate, but there’s peace of mind in knowing your organization took the necessary steps to ensure compliance – with the audit trail to prove it. There’s also peace of budget knowing that severance automation is a lower cost option than some legal alternatives.


3 - Create Brand Ambassadors

Reducing headcount isn’t fun, but circumstances sometimes make layoffs unavoidable. If employees feel heard and appreciated, you can end a less-than-desirable situation on a positive note. The better the employee experience, the better the look for your brand, which can affect many layers of people, from customers to current and potential employees.


Despite the circumstances, if you can create a smooth and positive exit experience, former employees will be more likely to recommend your organization – and less likely to lash out on sites like Glassdoor, a move that can impact your company long-term. For example, if employees can easily access the information they need, they’ll be less frustrated overall.


By automating as much of the process as possible, HR will have more time to focus on the “people part” – an aspect that can create a favorable last impression.


4 - Achieve Consistency and Flexibility

When it comes to severance policies, consistency is key. By using a severance automation platform, you can eliminate the internal learning curve while also reducing the risk of human error. Severance automation has its own set of checks and balances that improves the experience while taking comfort in knowing that employees were treated uniformly.


Also, since economic conditions are constantly changing, automation can provide your company with a level of agility that’s difficult to attain if handled manually. You can refine severance policies and separation and release agreements as needed, making it easier to adjust to the evolving landscape. One Onwards HR client decided to increase the minimum amount of severance pay offered to help its employees navigate the complexities of COVID-19. Because the process was automated, this change was easy to implement across the board and, of course, the employees welcomed the adjustment.


By embracing technology, you can ensure that employees are handled consistently, but you’ll also be ready to adapt on a moment’s notice.


Don’t wait; automate!

About Onwards HR Onwards HR helps organizations manage human capital risk. We empower businesses to conduct consistent and compliant separations using our analytics-driven management platform. Our five-step process leverages integrated workflows, decision support tools, and advanced analytics to improve efficiency, increase effectiveness, and minimize risk. The result is a streamlined separation process that creates a positive experience for employers and employees alike as they move onwards.


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