Handle Exits Better- 5 steps for Employee and Employer

Chances are you’ve started a new job, probably several over your working lifetime. Have you ever noticed that the time, effort, money and energy that is put into your on-boarding is significantly more than what is put into your exit from organizations? Sure, the severing of ties may turn ugly for one reason or another (your boss is less than awesome, the promised promotion- aka carrot dangling- gets old, or a #metoo situation propels you to get out). But for arguments sake, let’s look at the average, no drama, run of the mill resignations. Why don’t employers handle that transition with half of the time, attention or money that they spent at the beginning? 

At Career Allies, we have these 5 simple tips (for both the employee and employer) to help exit better: 

  1. Employee- Give plenty of notice. There are very few situations where 2 weeks in sufficient notice for your employer to back fill a position, handle logistics of the transition and communicate effectively to teams involved. Furthermore, your new employer will only respect you more if you ask for additional time to set up your current team for success with your departure. 
  2. Employer- Be supportive. Regardless of the reason for resignation, take a minute and talk to your employee about their next chapter. Be interested, care, recognize that this is change and change is uncomfortable. Be the bigger person if you’re not happy about the timing of their departure. If you’re supportive and caring, that goodwill will come back to you. 
  3. Employee- Don’t blab. Create a communication plan with your supervisor or HR representative that you both are comfortable with. You may feel like it’s your right to tell people in the office because it’s you that’s leaving, but going rogue on this one could have very serious implications. Just sit on your big news and align on a plan before the tweeting starts. 
  4. Employer and Employee- Be open. The absolute best way to cut destructive gossip off at the knees is to be open, honest and transparent. Who is leaving, when, why, what is the backfill plan, who is the intermediary contact. Turnover is nerve-racking to teams and getting a new boss can be terrifying. Respect that, be open and positive. It will have dramatic impact on the culture and productivity of the team. 
  5. Employer- we saved the best for last- HAVE A PLAN! You would never, in any other part of your life spend the money, time and energy on something and then turn your back on it. You buy a house, fix it up, make a home, have great memories (sure the frustrating ones as well with broken furnaces, water leaks, etc.) but when time comes to move- you sell the house and get money out of it! When your child turns 18, you don’t turn your back on them never to be heard from again. Those 18 years of time, energy and money are an investment in creating a good human that you can continue to enjoy. An employee is an investment of time, energy and money. They’ve given your company part of their most valuable, depreciating asset- their time! So value what they’ve done, work out a plan to transfer the knowledge they’ve amassed over their tenure and create a strategic plan about how the exit will go.