There’s lots of conversation these days about onboarding. And with good reason – onboarding is tremendously important. It helps create a positive first impression of the organization. It can also accelerate an employee’s initial productivity. These factors contribute to overall employee engagement. However, while onboarding can set employees up for success in a new role, offboarding can set the organization up for success during an employee departure. In fact, Aberdeen research finds that only 29 percent of organizations have an offboarding program in place.
According to a 2016 Glassdoor U.S. site survey, 70% of job candidates look to company reviews before they make career decisions. Modern candidatures today rely on social media and databases like Glassdoor to learn more about the companies they consider working for. Hence a formal process of positive employee transition is necessary as it helps an organization in future recruitment, maintaining employer brand, and business performance. Many of those company reviews are written by former employees — and while as an HR manager you might not have control over what they write, you do have control over the offboarding experience and post-departure relationship former employees have with your organization.
A successful offboarding program also ensures that the knowledge and experience an employee gained during their time with the company is either passed on to their colleagues or recorded in detail for future reference. So here are some practices of perfecting a positive candidate experience.
- Know the reason behind candidate’s departure – Understanding why an employee is leaving can help an employer adapt to the changing demands of the present workforce and, in rare cases, may even result in an employee withdrawing their resignation. As a manager create an open and frank dialogue and try to determine if the reason for their leaving is due to something the company could have done better.
- Never waste their industry knowledge – Regardless of how long your employee stayed in their position, there will be certain nuggets of information such as the contacts they made or process shortcuts that only they will know. Ask their advice on finding and finalizing suitable replacement and if possible would they be able to help train the replacement. Such actions will reveal your confidence in their abilities. In effect, you are telling them that you value them so highly that you will still listen to their advice even though they have decided to leave, a perfect gesture of creating positive candidate off boarding experience.
- Make them an ambassador of your employer brand – There is no way to predict what lies ahead for departing employees. In the future, they might become your customer, a competitor or even a contractor. This makes it highly important for an organization to ensure that the departing employees leave with a positive outlook and a favorable perspective. Practice this quote “Treat them like you’d like to be treated.” This way you can ensure that they talk positively about your organization’s products and services to their friends and families. If your organization receives any flak or bad review they will always be there to defend your case.
(Read More: Managing your Employer Brand on Glassdoor Like a Pro)
Though offboarding isn’t always a favorite task, it is a crucial one — in fact, it’s just as important as onboarding. Good offboarding that’s accurate, effective and time efficient can have expansive positive effects on your business. Now we’ll take a look at 3 merits why a well-executed offboarding is valuable for you and your employees.
1. Influences Your Employer Brand
As the final touchpoint with your organization, offboarding can set the tone for how employees remember their time working with you. A negative offboarding experience can leave employees with a bad taste in their mouths. And today, accounts of negative work experiences spread quickly through social media and websites like Glassdoor. Bad word of mouth can have a real impact on your employer brand, which in turn can harm your recruiting and retention efforts. However, a positive reputation is just as powerful, and leaving your employee with a good last experience can help promote your brand as a great employer.
2. Increase Recruitment Rate
In addition to maximizing your recruiting and retention rates, good offboarding can be especially valuable if you’d like an employee to work for you again in the future. Providing a positive experience for existing employees increases the chance that they’ll want to return. Rehiring a previous employee can mean faster onboarding and lower acquisition costs. And rehiring can be particularly cost and time effective if your workforce is seasonal.
3. Positive off-boarding helps employee retention
Always remember that if you do not have a good offboarding process for departing employees it will ruffle the feathers of the remaining employees. Imagine a scenario of an employee disappearing suddenly without any announcement of the resignation being made. Employees will gossip amongst each other and speculate the sudden leave of the past employee and whether they are also going to be replaced. In case the departing employee bad mouths about your organization or has problems negotiating the practicalities of their leaving it will have an immediate effect on other employees working in the organization. This will result in a change of opinion of the organization, manager, and capabilities of the HR which will result in declined productivity.
These were the very reason makes it very important for you to ensure that the departures of the employees are handled efficiently and everyone in the organization is kept in the loop about the status of the departing employee. Always conduct an exit interview to know the exact reasons that prompted an employee to leave the organization. Also, ensure that you encourage them to stay in touch and let them know that the door will remain open for them. There was a time not so long ago that an employee leaving may have coaxed the CEO from their office for an obligatory handshake and a slice of the ‘Sad to see you go’ cake in the canteen. Thankfully, the recruitment industry and those that work in HR are now clued-in to the fact that this is not quite what offboarding means. With this in mind, companies are now working hard to ensure that each phase of an employee’s work cycle is a pleasant and rewarding experience.