You have probably heard of the terms "big resignation" and "talent exodus" or stumbled across a Microsoft survey from 2021 that says 41% of workers are considering quitting or changing careers this year.
More than ever, employees are choosing to leave companies for a variety of reasons, and it's important to listen to them, care about your employees to the end, and perhaps get valuable feedback for the overall survival of your company.
Companies that have not prioritised their employees during the pandemic could be sleepwalking towards an exodus of talent, a damaged employer brand and a productivity drought.
Here are 6 reasons why offboarding employees should be your priority this year.
1 - People first, especially on their last day
Having an authentic and great company culture means putting your people first, even the ones leaving your organisation. After all they have given for the business, don't they deserve an appreciation time? Their offboarding is an opportunity for you to give back as an employer (and also to showcase your great culture!). What about running a (virtual) party as a meaningful goodbye? The employee on the departure will appreciate you taking the time to set up something for them. Another idea is to organise a gift from the organisation, you can even brand it so the employee will keep you in mind in the future. Don't forget that former employees can be future ones!
2 - Finish on a good note
It is often the case that the subsequent person who takes over the role of your departing employee goes through a handover process. In order for the transfer of knowledge to go smoothly and effectively, it is vital that your departing employee has an overall positive experience, as their motivation and commitment will often have an impact on the following employee.
Help your departing employee prepare documents in advance to facilitate the handover, and put your team in touch as soon as the new employee joins the company.
In some cases, new employees may need to contact the former employee if a document is lost or a process is forgotten. Former employees will be more willing to respond more quickly if they feel valued and appreciated by their former company.
3 - Get feedback to increase your overall employee experience
Organise time for your departing employee. Make them feel heard. An exit interview or anonymous exit interviews are one of the best ways to share authentic feedback and provide your employees with a better experience that aligns with your company culture. Departing employees may have the same thoughts as employees who stay with your company, so be open to honest views and thoughts.
Show departing employees your appreciation for their strengths, contributions and accomplishments by offering them a letter of recommendation to make their next job search easier.
4 - Increase your leadership credibility
Some employees' departures can be intense and tricky. When employees leave the company, it is often considered taboo for others to discuss.
Maybe it is a stressful situation for you as an employer and it has become one of your main focuses. But be careful, your co-workers will also witness the departure of their colleague, which gives them an idea of what their offboarding will look like when the time comes!
Again, transparency and clarityare key. You do not need to give every detail, but make sure you respond to your employees' questions and keep the conversation open about it. Do not make it a taboo that will end up in gossip, false rumours, and assumptions. Prioritise transparent and honest communication. Offer your colleagues and the departing employee a safe space for communication and exchange.
Taking responsibility and facing the issues with transparency, whatever the situation is, will increase your credibility as a leader and trust within your team.
5 - Former employee advocacy
Employee advocacy is one of the newest and most effective ways to develop your Employer Brand. More and more organisations give a voice to their employees to convince future candidates to join their company. Employee advocacy is an authentic way to promote your great culture, but former employee advocacy is even more powerful! Having departing employees giving positive feedback about your organisation is the most authentic way to promote you as an employer!
Think of what story you would like your former employees to tell. Make sure that your offboarding provide support and that your employee feels heard before leaving the company. In fact, they can be an excellent source of authentic feedback.
Often, companies underestimate the power of word of mouth and online reviews which can greatly impact your e-reputation and talent attraction, thus hurting your employer branding efforts. This is why candidates give a lot of importance to the rating platforms like Glassdoor! For example, a negative review on Glassdoor, Google Review or a LinkedIn post can repel potential high qualified workers for the job sought.
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6 - Build a genuine community
Don't forget you can cross paths with an ex-employee at any time. If your former employee becomes your surgeon, you might want them to still like you!
Apart from this, keeping a genuine connection with leaving employees is a great way to avoid toxicity in your network. Fostering positive bonds as a leader shows that you are a carer in any situation. An ex-employee can also become a future customer, provider, investor, or even a future employee so don't miss an opportunity by being careless on their last day!
Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. We help organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. We recognise Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in more than 60 countries. To join the thousands of companies that have committed to building high-trust company cultures that help them attract, retain and take care of their people, contact us about getting Certified today.