Five ways to make employee exits memorable – for the right reasons
Reputation is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. When employees leave they can be free to say whatever they want about your organisation, from chatting in the pub or to their professional network, to more formal ways to give an opinion such as Glassdoor and Indeed.
If we accept that the end of a working relationship is just as important as the start, how can you leave a lasting impression on people who are leaving your organisation? Here are five practical steps you can take.
Step 1: Carry out exit questionnaires
Finding out what people really think about working for your organisation – the positives and the negatives – is incredibly valuable.
Questionnaires can provide a unique chance to gauge the opinions of departing employees and often include more constructive and objective criticism than existing staff are prepared to give in employee engagement surveys.
An experienced HR person is best placed to take the employee through the questionnaire, as the leaver needs to feel comfortable giving feedback about their manager and team. The important thing is to ensure that the results are analysed and used, as failure to listen and act can be a huge mistake.
Step 2: Follow up with exit interview
Exit interviews go one step further than the questionnaires, giving the leaver the opportunity to highlight concerns and give feedback in person, giving examples to back up their views. This helps the company look at specific issues and it is important to reassure the individual this is the reason for the interview.
The key to getting value from exit interviews is making sure you listen not challenge, judge or defend. The interviewer must remain impartial and ask open questions to get the leaver to fully explain their opinions and while avoiding any confrontation.
These interviews can be time-consuming so often they get forgotten or dropped in the list of priorities but with the growing popularity of sites like www.glassdoor.co.uk and reviews now available on Indeed and Google, the impact of not taking the time could be a negative review which puts off potential employees.
Step 3: Give them a good send off
Encourage managers to give their leavers a good send off. People spend a long time at work developing relationships you want them to leave on a positive note with good memories of their time with your business.
Leaving is a great opportunity to say thank you to someone for the work they have done and how they have contributed to the business. So often, managers get this wrong and the last day can feel awkward and uncomfortable. It’s the best time to do something personal with a card/gift you know they will like so find the right person to buy their gift.
Step 4: Allow them to say goodbye to colleagues
Whether people are leaving to go pastures new, as a result of a restructure or even a performance issue they usually want to be able to say goodbye to their colleagues. Allowing them to do this professionally will support their positive memories despite any difficulties or frustrations they have around the decision. Allow them the time to go around and see colleagues to say goodbye and let them know that this is okay.
Step 5: Support those who need it with their next steps
For those who don’t have a new role to go to, offer support to help them navigate their next steps. Provide them with personalised options of support to help think through their career planning or retirement planning through outplacement support. This can be your final handshake as you part company and doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Interested in finding out more about making your employee more memorable? Talk to Jem Associates to find out about our exceptional outplacement support services at www.jemassociates.org