Former employees can wield a great deal of influence on your company’s current success and future growth. Happy ex-employees can positively represent the company and its culture to the outside world. However, an unhappy former employee can malign your company to current employees, potential hires, investors and customers. When hiring, 70% of job candidates look to company reviews before they make career decisions. Many of those company reviews are written by former employees. This means that an enthusiastic former employee can encourage potential talent to consider your company, but a negative ex-employee can scare away good talent and give customers a poor view of the company. This can affect your capability to attract and engage potential new hires and to retain current staff. In light of this, it is vital that you maintain goodwill with your departing employees.
Whether the employee separation is voluntary or involuntary, your company needs to have good offboarding practices and policies in place, to ensure that departing employees have a smooth and positive transition experience. In the case of voluntary separations, employees may leave the company due to professional or personal motives, including retirement, career or educational advancement, relocation or changes to family dynamics. Employees who experienced goodwill with their ex-employers are a great source of business insight and industry knowledge for their past employer. Here are five ways you can increase the goodwill experienced by ex-employees.
1. Let the employee know that they are valued. Once an employee announces their resignation, ensure that efforts are made to retain them by offering valuable inducements to stay. For example, is telecommuting or schedule flexibility available for a new parent? Giving the employee a chance to communicate their reasons for wanting to leave and finding ways to meet their need, may be the first step towards retaining great talent and increasing employee satisfaction.
5. Encourage boomerang employees.
Ex-employees may also come back to you in the future, a term known as “boomerang talent.” They can bring even more value in experience, new skills and a larger network for future talent. Boomerang employees may not need as much training and can get up to speed more quickly than a fresh hire. Because they know the company and have relationships with co-workers and former managers, they are an easy fit with the company’s culture. Make it easy for ex-employees to apply to open positions, and to sign up for notifications of changes within your company’s structure, such as retirements and promotions. They may find a new niche that fits any new skills or experience which were acquired during their time away.
Whether an employee is leaving on their own terms or due to an involuntary termination, it is important to take the time necessary to ensure that their exit happens in a positive, respectful and professional manner.
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