Your employee runs into your office, wide eyed and out of breath, hands in the air. Excited. You jump out of your seat, preparing for impact. “I’m going to Disney World!” they yell in excitement! You too are excited until: no, really. They’re going to Disney World to pursue a new career, and they’re not coming back. Time to find their replacement!
While throwing a going-away party is a fun way to send a former employee off on their new journey, there are a few extra steps that should be taken in establishing a good offboarding process. There is knowledge on both ends that should be shared. Especially if their leave is not permanent, as in the case of sabbaticals or maternity leave.
Here are 5 things to remember when creating an exceptional offboarding experience:
1. Knowledge transfer
If you already have a replacement in mind you can have the two work together before the exiting employee’s departure. The existing employee can share best practices and efficiencies they discovered in their role. If this is not possible, ask your existing employee to prepare a handbook of their role. They should note directories to important files, daily tasks and tips to help a new employee get up to speed in their role. This will also help your trainers when onboarding the new employee.
2. Transfer account access
When your new employee joins the team, you’ll want to make sure that they have access to all the accounts they need to succeed in their role. Help your employee transfer these accounts before leaving the company. In cases where they have used personal authentication metrics, ask them to duplicate crucial documents or assets, or help the new employee set up an identical account.
3. Exit survey
The employee that is exiting likely has some thoughts and tips on how you can make your company more successful. Remember that they have experienced the company from a different angle than you have. Their suggestions will be composed of the strengths and weaknesses they have seen from their position. Use these suggestions wisely, as current employees may not have the confidence to bring them to your attention.
4. References and supporting documents
Consider the employee’s contributions to the company and how much they have grown from when they first started. Writing a letter of recommendation with these metrics is an ideal way to send off your employee and maintain a good rapport. If the employee’s leave is not permanent, you want to send them off with documents that will support them during their time of leave and prepare them for their reboarding.
5. Thank and maintain a positive relationship
You want to maintain a positive relationship with your exiting employees. They will forever be your brand ambassadors who will speak of their experience with working at your company. They may introduce you to new prospects or become your client in their new position and vice-versa. You want your former employees to vouch for you, and, if they maintain relationships with current employees, you want them to share positive experiences that will motivate your employees.
Though we often consider these steps for employees with temporary departures, we often forget them when saying goodbye to employees with permanent exits. Though these individuals will no longer be part of your team going forward, you want to keep a positive relationship with them. You may want to ask them for their opinion on business tactics, or ask them to connect you to people in their network. Providing a stellar offboarding experience is key to maintain a good relationship with your former employees.
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