How to Say Goodbye to an Employee

Marc Altimiras

Regional Vice President South Europe at Cornerstone OnDemand

No matter how much effort you put into your talent management strategy, it is inevitable: at some point, an employee will leave the company. We always talk about the importance of onboarding and first impressions, but sometimes we do not pay due attention to the end of the employment relationship and the process of offboarding.

Managing this last phase of the employee's life cycle is very important for several reasons. For example, one of the most striking changes we have seen in recent years is the increase in workers returning to a company after they have left. Making a good impression at the time of departure is essential to leave the door open for the same person to return to the organisation after having enriched their profile with new experiences at other companies.

To ensure a successful offboarding you have to follow a series of steps, some of which will almost certainly be used in your company. But we have to go further.

The first thing is to close everything that is pending. Ensure the employee that’s leaving the company has finished his or her tasks before leaving. They must then return any technological devices and other work materials that had been assigned to them.

A pleasant relationship must be maintained with the employee at all times. It is not necessary to put on the farewell party of the century, but be cordial and have a positive attitude when they leave. There are times when organisations feel that their employees are indebted to them, but this is not the case. Everything that you have invested in the development of an employee has been returned to you in the form of hard work and responsibility.

The most valuable moment of all this process is the exit interview, because it not only allows the employee to be heard but it helps the company improve or adjust their human capital management based on the feedback the employee gives. To get more valuable information, it is advisable to customise the interview and ask for answers that are as specific as possible.

Although it is not part of the offboarding process itself, you must have a succession plan in place to cover your employees' outlets as soon as possible. For this, Cornerstone Succession is an indispensable ally that will allow you to know and develop the talent of your staff while promoting strategic succession, further increasing the involvement of employees.

Offboarding well done can reinforce attracting talent and improving the company's reputation among candidates. By following these simple tips you will not have to worry about "bad language" or your ability to attract the best employees.

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