Good offboarding practices and how Sage People can support them
Companies will often focus on the onboarding experience for employees but how much do you invest in your exit process for someone leaving your company?
Whatever the reason your employee is leaving, having a strong offboarding process and giving them a good experience is important for several reasons.
THE CPID recently published a very interesting article on ‘Employee Turnover and Retention, highlighting how employee turnover can harm an organisation’s performance. Furthermore, by understanding the reasons for an employee exiting the organisation, employers can devise initiatives that reduce turnover and increase employee retention.
Gaining honest feedback
Developing a clear picture of why employees leave and gaining constructive feedback can help to identify any problems and weak points in the company or a specific division, as well as mitigate any potential for lawsuits, improve internal business processes and increase employee retention.
If the employee is leaving due to an unrelated external matter, gaining their feedback can be helpful as well. It can give the employer peace of mind knowing that the employee is not leaving due to a bad experience with the company.
Comments from employees leaving a company are more likely to be honest compared to what current employees say, so consider carefully what questions are asked in your exit interviews and leavers surveys and how you collate this feedback:
- In-person: Exit interviews generally take place with the Line Manager or HR. They can enter this feedback directly into the system through several routes including an ‘HCM Form’.
- Via online surveys: Do you want your employees to provide some form of feedback in advance of their exit interview or separate from that meeting? Often employees will provide more honest feedback outside of a face-to-face interview. Creating a ‘Pulse Survey’ and making it visible to a leaver in their final weeks, provides the organisation with a useful tool for soliciting this feedback.
Make sure you consider your culture in how you communicate with your employees when putting together your offboarding process and that you listen to feedback – create useful reports for the business.
Employees leave companies for all kinds of reasons, sometimes voluntarily, other times not.
Be considerate to what feedback is being requested and what communications are being sent out to them and how.
Consider how you can make their last impression of the company a positive one. The ideal scenario is to have a departing employee leave as an ambassador and customer. By treating them with respect, can encourage them to recommend their former employer to potential employees, to use and recommend the companies’ products and services, and to create business alliances between their former and new employers. People talk, refer, and post in online social media forums more than ever before. It’s not just your reputation as an employer but your brand as well.
The leaver might return as a rehire in the future and if their offboarding experience isn’t a good one, it might be a missed opportunity of skills and experience. Additionally, the costs for a direct-hire tends to be a lot lower than if you go through recruitment agencies or advertising a role.
Say ‘Thank you’. Before an employee leaves the company, show them once again that you appreciate their contribution and effort. Especially if they have been with you for a considerable period of time.
Communicating appropriately with leavers throughout the process
Employees are humans at the end of the day and whilst some processes and communications are appropriate from the system, don’t try and automate everything.
Employees want a certain level of personal interaction and so companies should not hide behind a system to avoid confrontation or hearing difficult feedback directly. The system can however support the collation of feedback and sending out appropriate communications to leavers and others within the company.
Consider what your employees want and need to hear when they are leaving the company when putting together communications and the tone and message you are trying to put across. The single best way to show your existing employees your appreciation is to stay in touch and support them.
What do they need to do?
- Will payroll, benefit providers etc be notified automatically?
- What do they need to do with their equipment? Do they need to see someone in person?
- Who do they contact for references?
Do you have an Alumni they will be invited to join?
What does this involve? Alumni networks and LinkedIn groups are getting increasingly popular. They give former and current employees a place to share their news or seek advice and support. You can also use the alumni network to post job openings and get referrals.
Supporting your security processes
Does your offboarding process notify the correct contacts once a leaver is confirmed? Using Action events to send an email to IT, Security, HR for example allows them to start their exit processes as soon as possible.
Ensure you have strong policies and procedures in place for offboarding and that employees and managers have access to this information. Do you have a ‘Policies’ section on your WX that includes these documents?
Is your Sage People org configured to switch Team Member profiles to leavers and automatically deactivate their user profiles on the correct date? Do your HR team know how to override this if necessary?
Your employees deserve a decent ‘good-bye’ as much as they deserved that warm welcome when they first started at your company. Make employee offboarding a positive and beneficial process for everyone involved and turn a farewell into a memorable experience.
This article has been written by Charlotte Edwards, a senior HRIS consultant for the Tugela People professional services team. Charlotte has over 15years of experience in People Planning and HR Operations within management consulting and global financial services. Charlotte enjoys working with clients to understand their requirements and how they can achieve them together.
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