When an employee announces their resignation, a lengthy “to do” list ensues – that’s just a fact. There are exit interviews to be conducted, responsibilities to shift, paperwork to be completed, and security credentials to manage.
Frankly, it can be a hassle when an employee moves on; a natural reaction of those “left behind” can be one of annoyance and a “what does this mean for my work load” attitude. This can leave the soon-to-be former employee feeling irrelevant and like a burden. They start counting down the minutes to the final farewell.
No one feels good when the exit plays out that way–and everyone loses. It is actually in your organization’s best interest to facilitate an easy exit, even if the reason for departure is not the employee’s choice. There is great value in providing the best possible ending for your employees–and the result can benefit your organization down the road. It is important that you work hard to ensure your exiting employees know that they are valuable to you beyond their last day on the job.
Exiting Employees are Valuable Resources
Why should you care about an exiting employee’s experience? And why should you go out of your way to make the experience a pleasant one? The reality is, exiting employees are a valuable resource. It is short-sighted to overlook their influence on others and their potential benefit for your future.
4 Reasons Exiting Employees Ought to Have a Good Departure
- They will share their experience with others
- They are a continued referral source for business and talent
- They may have skills you can use in a different capacity in the future
- They are a person of value
Exiting employees will share their experience with others
Just like remarkable customer service, a remarkable exit experience leaves a lasting impression. And because it is such a rare thing to have an employer care for your future, apart from helping them, you can bet that the exiting employee will be pleasantly shocked. This fosters appreciative comments about your organization when they share their experience in the marketplace.
Outside people will be drawn to that kind of organization. Kind, thoughtful, and caring organizations are the type of organizations people want to do business with and want to work for. Intentionally or not, exiting employees are ambassadors for your employment brand. When they share good news about their experience, it increases the perception of your organization. This leads to talent and new business attraction.
Exiting employees are a continued referral source for business and talent
The people who have worked inside your organization know your business best. That makes them well equipped for sending people to you, both as employees and as customers. Former employees know what type of people thrive in your organization and can be a great referral of future talent. Even if they were not a good fit, they can identify people who would be.
Additionally, previous employees can refer clients. They know what your organization offers and when they’ve been treated well, they will be happy to send customers your way. Typically, alumni will be happy to reciprocate the kindness you’ve extended to them.
Exiting employees may develop skills you can use in a different capacity in the future
As alums head into other career paths, they learn new skills. Those skills and passions can be of great benefit to your organization’s future. If you continue your relationship with your alumnus you will know what strengths have been honed and what expertise they could share with you.
For instance, a former employee of Centennial has done amazingly well with Facebook advertising. We were able to sit down with him and ask for tips and guidance for our own usage. Over time, he has done some consulting work for us to elevate our Facebook presence. This is a beautiful relationship because he is already familiar with our business and we know his work style from the years he spent working inside our organization.
Exiting employees are people of value
If for no other reason, the reason you want to make the exiting experience favorable is because the person is a person of value. They have feelings, struggles, and outside circumstances that play into their work performance. You should respect that and help their transition to go as smoothly as you can. Even though you can’t ensure that they leave with positive feelings, you should do everything in your power to work towards that goal.
Additional Exiting Employees Resources
This idea of making an organizational exit a positive thing may be a new thought for you. For that reason, consider some additional resources on this topic:
- Here’s a video and brief article from LinkedIn co-founder and executive chairman Reid Hoffman and CEO Jeff Weiner, discussing the currently broken employer-employee relationship. They propose, and wrote a book on the idea, that both company and employee should add value to each other.
- This slide share, from Reid Hoffman, dives into his perspective of viewing employees as an ally. In this alliance, employer and employee develop a relationship based on how they can add value to each other. It’s not a one-way relationship, it is reciprocal.
Last, this podcast from the Talent Magnet Institute Podcast focuses on creating a positive experience for your employees from start to finish:
The Centennial Alumni
At Centennial, we tap into the talents of our alumni on a regular basis. Some have stepped in to help when our workload has been especially high; some have been great resources for specific executive search needs; and, almost all of them have stayed in contact with us, regularly sharing personal and professional achievements, knowing we celebrate right along with them.
This is the experience we want for all organizations. Positive, beneficial, and meaningful alumni relationships. Don’t overlook the importance of creating a great send off for your exiting employees. They’re influence and value is far-reaching.