Existing employees make a close note of their colleague’s separation experience as it talks a lot about the company’s culture and philosophy
It is said that the first impression is the last impression. Well, companies seem to have taken that to heart by laying down innovative induction-cum-onboarding programs to make a strong initial impression. So while a lot has been written about the importance of onboarding programs, its cousin offboarding remains a neglected entity till date.
The offboarding process, which used to be treated as a taboo and is least spoken about, plays an important role in laying a pitch for future rehiring and positive advocacy. Separation, which remained a grey area, is now seen as an opportunity for the employer to create a futuristic relationship with the employee.
With increasing duration of notice periods and stringent retention clauses, an average employee ends up spending significant time within the company ecosystem post resigning his services before he moves out. This phase is extremely sensitive for the employee who is on his way out and he/she tends to evaluate events around him/her from an emotional lens. An employee who is on exit mode becomes an interesting subject of discussion for the rest of the associates who try and evaluate his decision. They also closely watch the manner in which his departure has been handled by the employer.
A credible research report states that the primary reason for employees taking back their resignations during the notice phase was based on emotional grounds. Employees who leave companies on a positive note continue their association with the company as brand ambassadors and company advocates. On the other hand, employees who are met with cold treatment and non-chalant attitude of the management turn into strong critics and dent the image of the company in the long run. The current rehiring trends across various sectors suggest that companies are looking at their employee resources from a long-term employment perspective. An employee leaving today on a good note might turn back at some point tomorrow and get associated again. Higher percentage of rehires can be expected from a pool of ex-employees who left on a strong and happy note.
Existing employees make a close note of their colleague’s separation experience. It talks a lot about company’s culture and philosophy. These advantages and sensitivities clearly put the responsibility on the company to ensure a systematic and professional separation.
Some Best practices
So what can be done to improve the off-boarding experience so that the employees leave on a good note with a clear baggage?
Keep the employee engaged till the last working day. He should not feel neglected or sidelined. Give him a warm and memorable farewell, which he deserves for his services and contribution to the organization. Assign an offboarding SPOC who can personally guide and help the member with exit formalities. Do take a feedback on the quality of the offboarding process towards the end of separation phase. All his dues and documents should be settled by the last working day. Ask the employee to add his details on the company alumni portal so that he remains connected in future. Counsel and guide him on various retirals. If possible, help him know how he can track the status of his PF withdrawal, gratuity settlement online. Share the contact details of employer through which employee can remain in touch. If the employee deserves it, give him the confidence that company would be happy to have him back if need be and he can contact the company for any support in the future.
“All is well that ends well” may become a passé with definition of end getting blurred with time.