4 Steps Of Managing Employee Departures

Publié le 14 May 2021 Par

Learn and follow 4 steps of managing employee departures to help ensure that when an employee chooses to leave that the process is as smooth and efficient as possible for the entire workplace.

When one person starts a new job role, there is a good chance that it means another person has left that role. As people grow and develop on their own professional paths, it can mean that eventually they will choose to leave their job role and pursue a new opportunity that they feel is right for their careers. Other times, personal changes have to be made for less pleasant reasons, either related to performance or personal behaviour.

Regardless of the reasons behind an employee departure, there is a chance it could cause major disruption to the work environment if it is not managed correctly. One an employee has given notice and submitted their official letter of resignation, it is up to managers to take a leading role in the process.

4 Steps Of Managing Employee Departures

  • Remember It’s Part Of The Process
  • Ask Important Questions
  • Communicate Clearly
  • Manage The Transition

Remember It’s Part Of The Process

Employers are often concerned about their recruiting and hiring processes. Recruiting the most qualified job candidates takes effort, and the entire process must be continuously examined and improved upon in order to reflect the current realities of the job market. The process of welcoming new employees is called onboarding, the reverse process of successfully dealing with the departure of employees has been called offboarding. 

It might sound counterproductive, but supporting employees when they choose to leave a company is also part of the overall recruitment and hiring process. This is because your employees are the best ambassadors for your company. Even as they move into a new job, they will still be able to speak to your company culture and work environment, so all the better to ensure that they continue to feel supported. This will help to establish a strong reputation for a company through positive word of mouth, which plays a major role in attracting the most qualified job applicants to available positions.

Ask Important Questions

Understanding the reasons and motivations behind a decision is one of the key parts of successfully managing employee departures. Once being informed of an employee’s decision to leave their job role, it’s important to learn what reasons for their choice. The best way to do this in a professional manner is to schedule an exit interview. This is a meeting between the departing employee and supervisors, HR managers and other members of the management team. The goal is to have a frank and open discussion regarding an employee’s time at the company and why they have chosen to continue their career elsewhere.

Here are few basic questions to ask:

  • Why did you decide to leave the job?
  • Were you unhappy during your time here?
  • Did you feel you had room for career advancement?
  • Did you have disagreements with managers or colleagues?
  • What would you change about the way the company is run?
  • Are you feeling work-related burnout

Gathering this information will help managers gain a better understanding of the workflow and work environment of the company, and be more able to identify areas that need to be addressed and improved. Making changes to the workplace and adapting as necessary creates a happier work environment and helps to earn the trust of employees.

Additionally, hiring, training and onboarding new employees is often more expensive and requires more resources than retaining existing employees. This is an opportunity to make changes to the workplace that will improve retention while also successfully managing employee departure. By adopting this attitude, you can be sure that your corporate culture will grow and that these employees will remain ambassadors even after they leave.

Communicate Clearly

Maintaining clear communication plays a vital role in successfully managing employee departures. In fact, communicating openly and honestly is the foundation of trust in the workplace, and a lack of trust can have serious negative consequences on workers and companies.

Clear communication is important when speaking to the employees who have chosen to leave, and when conveying this news to other employees within the company. Take the time to discuss with the employee themselves how they want their departure to be announced, as they may wish to break the news themselves. Don’t wait too long to inform colleagues, especially those who will be directly affected.

Managers and supervisors should never hide or be dishonest regarding an employees reason or leaving. If an employee was unhappy or felt that they had more opportunities in a different organization, this should be conveyed clearly. An even worse decision would be to try and shift the blame or fault onto other factors or individuals. If an employee is unhappy in the workplace, it is ultimately the responsibility of company leaders and denying this is a major sign of ineffective leadership.

Manage The Transition

Part of successfully managing employee departure is ensuring that the transition occurs as smoothly as possible. Never take a passive approach, and rather put real effort into helping one employee wrap up their tasks while planning how to onboard a new employee.

There is often a period of notice between when an employee announces their intention to leave and their actual final day — typically two weeks. During this time, managers need to work with the departing employee to carefully catalogue the status of ongoing tasks and projects. For projects that will not be completed by an employee’s final day, select another team member who will assume these responsibilities and provide them with the time and resources they need to do so correctly.

Hiring the correct employee is a very important decision and it should not be rushed. A 2019 survey found that it took an average of 38 days to complete the hiring process, and for good reason. Bad hires use up valuable resources and negatively affect an entire organization.

If the departing employee has given their notice well in advance and if a qualified job candidate is identified earlier on in the hiring process, it may be possible to have them work together for a brief period of time. This can help ease the transition and make managing employee departures easier as they can literally train the next person who will be fulfilling the job role. 

As this type of arrangement is often not possible, leaders should manage employee departures by involving them in the preparation of training documents and records so that when a new person is hired they will have in-depth knowledge and resources at their disposal.

Managing employee departures is an important responsibility for company leaders. Doing it correctly ensures that the remaining employees remain happy, and that work is completed correctly and efficiently. By remembering that it’s part of the process, asking the important questions, communicating clearly and actively managing the transition, it is possible to ensure a smooth change for everyone involved.