Make It Okay for Employees to Leave: How You and Others In The Organization Treat People When They Depart

Make It Okay for Employees to Leave: How You and Others In The Organization Treat People When They Depart

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Although employees are always advised to avoid “burning bridges” when they resign from their jobs, organizations often fail to do the same. Offboarding protocols have become more important than ever with the average tenure of employees at just over four years. How you react to employee resignation can have a huge impact on your overall reputation as an employer, effectively burning bridges. 

In today’s blog post, we examine how to make it “okay” for employees to leave and ensure you treat people professionally on their way out.

Share the Employees Success

When top talent moves on to greener pastures, maintaining a positive attitude allows you to part on good terms. This makes it more likely they would consider taking on a progressive position with your company in the future when the opportunity arises. Since word gets around, especially in smaller companies, the last thing you want is for your current employees to learn that you did not handle a separation with grace.  

Create a Safe Exit Program

When employees resign, they want to feel safe participating in your offboarding process. Having a safe space where you meet with exiting team members encourages them to be more open about their experiences. Your HR team can identify patterns to understand what contributes to high employee churn. 

When you know why people leave, you can help improve retention. Outgoing employees who are candid about their decisions can help you collect honest feedback used to improve your work environment. You can even set up an anonymous survey ex-employees fill out off-site without fear of repercussion.

Introduce a “Keep in Touch” Policy

Networking is very important for recruitment. Having a “keep in touch” policy, or introducing a “peer buddy” plan allows former employees to have a contact at your organization. These relationships can begin with a new hire or be requested when someone resigns. This enables you to stay connected with high performers who are going places in the industry to help find referrals during your recruitment process.

Embrace HR Offboarding Technology

Technology makes it easier than ever to improve protocols such as offboarding. Automation streamlines the resignation process from how you receive resignations to how your HR department collects feedback. You can also tie your offboarding process into your recruitment process. When the system receives a resignation form, the persons’ job title triggers a job posting or even starts a search from your internal resumes and external application database.

Alumni Network

If you are successful at creating your alumni network, you can use former employee data to find suitable candidates when someone leaves. For example, are they happy in their new positions since leaving your organization? According to Leadership IQ, 46% of new hires fail in their first 18 months. If they are not doing as well as they’d hoped, you might convince them to come back. Has their skill set changed? Growth in skill sets could make former employees suitable for management positions with their increased experience in the industry.

While resignations are never a reason to celebrate, creating an offboarding process allows you to understand retention issues. It also allows you to create positive relationships with ex-employees, opening up future opportunities when important roles become available.

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