Technical offboarding usually gets the most focus. Everyone knows the importance of getting employees out of the system and squared away. Unfortunately, the more nuanced and complex HR procedures get ignored. This is an oversight with serious ramifications.
That’s why the process must be effective, and part of a talent management and retention strategy. It’s good to have strategies to keep your best workers and attract top talent. Improvising your offboarding can have a negative impact.
Here are the important points to remember when designing interpersonal offboarding processes:
Make sure your departing employees feel valued.
Whether a staff member quit or got fired, communicate their last day and relevant information before rumors start. Misunderstandings can breed contempt. While it’s important to keep a lid on sensitive or personal information, you should be clear about the employee’s position and discuss who will take over their responsibilities. If the worker is in a customer-facing role or is a senior executive, it may be necessary to inform the public. Include only the necessary information and give them a safe, anonymous way to share their feelings on the matter privately.
Don’t make exit interviews a thoughtless formality. Use them to gain valuable insights about your organization. Analyze your strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement. An employee should feel comfortable expressing herself or himself freely. This information will also be helpful in creating an up-to-date job description and weighing candidates better. Especially if you’ve already identified potential internal hires with succession planning software.
Here are some suggestions for exit interview questions:
- What was the most rewarding thing about your job? What were the biggest challenges?
- What were your daily, weekly and annual work tasks? What was the most important thing you did? What smaller tasks do we need to pay attention to?
- Would you encourage a friend to apply to our company? Why or why not?
- What could have gone differently? Is there something that would have made you stay? Are there processes you would improve on given the choice?
- Which members of the team were especially helpful during your job? Did your team members, leadership or others make your job more difficult? Who stood out as an outstanding coworker or manager?
- Do you feel the job adequately matched your expectations going in? Did you have enough support and resources to accomplish your tasks?
- What systems and technologies does your successor need to be fluent in? Is there a program, application or tool that would make this role easier?
- What was the biggest priority in your job? What are the top hard and soft skills your successor needs to complete this position?
- Did you feel your compensation and job title were fair given your workload? Were their perks or changes to compensation that would have enticed you to stay?
- What’s the biggest thing we could do to improve?
Employer Brand and Recruiting
Employees, whether past or present, are a strong promoter of a company’s brand. Every interaction builds that brand. Will your business broadcast care and kindness? Or do people come away with a less favorable impression? Today’s interrelated social networking environment creates multiple opportunities to reinforce a positive reputation or contribute to a harmful critique.
By properly monitoring the employee lifecycle you maintain a positive employer brand.
Your employer brand affects your recruiting. One vindictive person trashing you on Glassdoor or Yelp can hurt your recruiting efforts. Especially bitter workers could leak corporate secrets and do long-term damage that takes years to recover from.
On the flip side, staff members with positive experiences become the biggest advocates for your company. They’ll recommend the job to friends and is a tremendous boost to recruiting efforts. Burning bridges doesn’t just hurt the employee. Don’t lose valuable networking opportunities.
The knowledge and expertise gathered over time by the incumbent is a valuable business asset. It’s important to maintain this knowledge and expertise in-house for continuity and stability between the new and old. By having them provide documentation and SOPs, the transition is much smoother.
If the parting is amicable, celebrate! Get a gift you know your worker loves like a cake, flowers, gift cards or something personal. Plan a party or happy hour and pay for it. Not only is this good for future networking, but it keeps morale up. Show you care about the people who work for you and they’ll be more engaged and productive.
Keep in Touch
This applies to both friendly and nasty partings. If the break was nasty, at least keep tabs on their LinkedIn account to make sure they aren’t trashing your company. Keep an eye out for suspicious reviews that could be from an angry ex-employee and keep on top of your reputation management.
For amicable departures, invite them to join a networking program for ex-workers or subscribe to the business newsletter. That way they’ll still get news and job openings. This can be helpful for attracting re-hires and getting referrals.
Leave the door open to valued staff members in case things change. By ending things on acceptable terms, you encourage re-hires also known as “boomerang employees,” to connect or work with you somewhere down the line.
The stigma around rehiring has dissipated as the increasing gig economy sees more people job-hopping. A survey from Accountemps found that 94% of senior managers are open to rehiring former team members. This is affected by the growing skill gap which makes it harder to find qualified hires. Deloitte reported the possibility of having 2.4 million unfilled roles between now and 2028. The report goes on to say that this loss could cost up to $2.5 trillion. Rehires are a better alternative.
Tie Up Loose Ends
Update your company’s organization chart and make sure you’ve completed all the paperwork. Store exit surveys, SOPs, how-to guides or other compliance documentation in a content library through an LMS or HR management software.
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