How to Exit an Employee on the Best Possible Terms

Parting on Good Terms

All good (or bad) things must come to an end, but for businesses, it is crucial to end relationships with employees on good terms. Business relationships are changing all the time, especially during unprecedented times.

However, terminating an employee for whatever reason can create spitefulness and animosity, especially when an employee feels unfairly treated. Bad blood can cause your company problems in the short-term and also more importantly in the long-term. It only takes one poorly handled employee exit to damage your reputation or receive an unwanted lawsuit.

With the global economic outlook currently looking bleak due to the fluctuating number of Covid-19 cases, many businesses will continue feeling the economic squeeze. Financial constrictions could result in many companies to struggle in retaining employees, resulting in layoffs. During these times it is crucial for all business leaders to carry out the process correctly and compile a layoff checklist to ensure employees are exited on the best possible terms.

Source: World Economic Forum
On average over half of global employees are somewhat concerned about losing their jobs

5 Ways to Create a Positive Exit Experience for Your Employees

An effective exit management strategy should be a top priority for businesses looking to restructure. If the journey between both parties has come to an end, follow these steps to ensure the process is properly managed:

1. Show Appreciation for Their Contributions

No matter how long an employee has served, they have contributed to the operations and growth of your company. Make them feel proud of their involvement and show your appreciation for their service.

Tell them about a time how their hard work helped complete a project or an area of work you particularly thought they thrived in. When an employee looks back on their time at the company, they will have a stronger sense of belonging. Everyone wants to feel like they’ve contributed whether it be a little or a lot.

2. Listen to Their Opinions

Listening to employees’ thoughts and valuing their opinions is essential for a positive exit. Everyone wants to be heard and give credible insights. By letting them speak their mind they can get any lingering issues off their chest.

Your business can also gain valuable understandings of the good and bad aspects of the roles. These insights can provide you with the knowledge you need to improve general operations.    

3. Transition Them to New Opportunities

Exiting an employee can happen because of various reasons, and it doesn’t mean that they necessarily performed or acted badly, it could just be because it didn’t work out or an unprecedented situation occurred.

To help employees transition to new opportunities offering an outplacement service would be a smart move. Many company leaders don’t know or understand the benefits of introducing an outplacement programme.

By helping released employees find new opportunities shows your business cares and appreciates people who have contributed to your business. This reflects positively on your company reputation and ultimately your employer brand.

4. Ensure Productivity Doesn’t Drop

It is important that business operations continue as normal and productivity does not dip. A smart handover strategy should be in place during the transition period. It is important the departing employee details all their job duties, so tasks can continue to be completed after their departure. Whether the work is going to be issued to a successor or distributed amongst other colleagues, the passing of the baton should be smooth.     

Learn more about preparing the handover and download our handover list template here now!

5. Protect Employee Morale

If your business is restructuring and implementing layoffs you will need a smart layoff strategy to protect employee morale. Carefully managing your layoff process is vital for a seamless and trauma-free transition. Download our layoff planning checklist now to help yourself cover all the necessary grounds!

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3 Key Takeaways

Show Your Appreciation for Departing Employees

In our increasingly interconnected world, negative experiences can sink your employer brand and affect your ability to hire top talent. To stop this from happening, the leaving employee should feel appreciated during their time at the company and part of the team.

Implement Outplacement Programme

By helping employees transition to new opportunities through an outplacement programme, it significantly reduces the chances of lawsuits, protects your employer brand, and maintains business morale. To learn more about outplacement read this article!

Implement a Smart Strategy for Transitioning

No matter the reason for the employee exit, a smart strategy should be implemented for a smooth transition. Download our handover list template and/or our layoff planning checklist for the perfect exit plan.

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