Managing the Employee Offboarding Experience
Every organisation wishes to deliver a great employee experience. That is precisely the reason why organisations put a great deal of effort in building an impressive employee onboarding program right at the first brand touch point. But the irony is, most organisations tend to ignore creating a similar level of experience for employees who have reached the end of their journey with the organisation.
While the employee onboarding process can set the foundation for the success of the employees in a new role, the employee offboarding process too can lay the foundation for success for the organisation after departure. Hence it is equally imperative for organisations to design a formal process for transitioning exiting employees. This helps in maintaining and promoting the reputation of the company, overall business performance, and also assists in the process of future recruitment.
There’s a growing trend that job candidates are highly dependant on social media platforms such as Glassdoor to learn in-depth information about the organisations they are considering. According to a Glassdoor survey conducted in 2016, 70% of candidates look out for company reviews before they take their respective career decisions. Former employees write most of the company reviews on such sites. While you may not be in a position to control what they write, you do have control over the employee offboarding experience and, can influence the sentiment towards your organisation.
To provide an effective offboarding experience you need have an exit process crafted in a strategic and thoughtful manner.
It is important for you to have a proper system in place right from the moment an employee submits their resignation to effectively and promptly handle the employee exit process. If you are successful in offering an employee-centric and consistent offboarding experience, you will leave a lasting impression. You can use this to your advantage by inviting them to endorse your organisation and act as an excellent source of referral. It may even prompt a former employee to rejoin your organisation at some point in time in future. This is happening a lot more these days.
With the help of workflow-driven HRIS, it becomes quite easy to streamline all the paper-based processes into, exception based, automated workflows, and thereby be able to offer a smooth knowledge transfer process. In this manner, the operations team will be able to focus all their attention towards creating a wonderful and positive experience for the departing employees.
What should you communicate to a departing employee?
The primary reason why employees quit their job is that they no longer feel appreciated. While it may be late to retain an employee who has made up his or her mind to exit the company, it’s important to communicate your appreciation towards them. It is a good idea to convey to him or her that you are indeed thankful for the time and effort that they have contributed during the tenure of their employment.
This helps in setting the tone right for a professional and amicable departure and also helps to encourage the departing employee to continue to be productive and engaged during the notice serving period. It also helps to motivate the departing employees to invest their time and effort towards training the next employee who would be taking up their role.
Listen carefully to what a departing employee has to say…
Exit interviews are a wonderful opportunity to gather valuable data that highlights some common themes that may be prompting voluntary exits from your organisation. Hence it is important to gather and address this feedback correctly to retain employees in future. In rolling out an effective exit interview, you need to create a comfortable environment that promotes healthy criticism and sharing of opinions. Listed below are a couple of questions that you can ask during the exit interview:
- Is there any particular reason or event that led to your departure from here?
- How would you like to define your relationship with your manager?
- Can you list some of the things that you enjoyed the most while working here?
- Can you list some of the things that you disliked while working here?
- Did we as an organisation help you to do your job well?
- What do you think we could have done differently that would have prompted you to continue working with us?
After conducting a one on one with the departing employee, it is essential to follow through. You should make an effort to collate and summarise the main points of these exit interviews and keep track of the recurring themes to address common underlying issues and avoid future turnover of employees.
Irrespective whether the departure is voluntary or involuntary, celebrating an exiting employee’s tenure will help generate lasting positive sentiment. It may be a great idea to organise a farewell party or a team lunch on the last week of their departure so that the exit is celebrated in the right spirit. You can also organise for a small parting gift or a personalised greeting card signed by the entire team so that they leave with pleasant memories. Done well it will also serve as a tangible reminder of the organisation’s appreciation for their service offered during their tenure. All in all, a great employee offboarding experience should not just end with a resignation!