- July 25, 2013
- Posted by: Hillary Feder
- Category: Employee Engagement
From the first meeting during recruitment throughout the employee’s entire tenure, nurturing relationships can deliver benefits long past the employee’s departure. People always remember how you make them feel. Employee departures have virtually become a fact of life. Therefore, it’s important to nurture these transitions for creating a “new chapter” in the relationship that continues long after an employee leaves.
Nurturing departing employees is as important as nurturing them while they are with you. After all, the impression they leave with, will affect how they will speak about your company. In addition, how you speak about the sense of loss to remaining team members speaks volumes about how you value employees. It will also help colleagues temper their concern over the disruption and unknown replacement.
Make it personal
When Cynthia tendered her resignation to me, just shy of 10 years with our close-knit Hillary’s family, she was leaving for all the right reasons—to pursue education that would help her in a new career. We were happy and proud that she was building and leveraging skills she honed with us. Her interest and pride in how our packaging looked, down to the smallest of details, had grown, and she seized opportunities to be more independent and hold greater responsibilities. There were also feelings of loneliness and angst over replacing her.
It was very important to us to celebrate her departure and new venture with the same enthusiasm we welcomed her. Knowing how Cynthia adores Pizza Luce, we planned lunch there and reminisced about how all of us had grown together over the years and the memories we have. We presented her with a small gift that was perfect for her new endeavor and would remind her of her time with us.
Meaningful, authentic nurturing will help Cynthia reflect on her time with us in a way that continues to make her a Hillary’s cheerleader. She will be gone, but she won’t forget how we made her feel.
Cynthia adores pink, in any shade. In her new position she will be quite mobile and she always has water near by. A pink monogrammed tote and insulated personalized water bottle – small token reminders of her days at Hillary’s.
Expand advocacy, maintain morale
When an employee moves to a new company, they bring their feelings with them. If they leave feeling “cared for,” then it is natural to send them off with those good vibes. Here are some tips for staff transitions:
- Verbally recognize the emotion involved in the employee’s decision to move on, and support them. Let them know they will be missed. Recount how their talents will leave a hole that needs filling.
- Celebrate the departing employee’s accomplishments and time with the organization.
- Consult with your team about the process for a replacement. Ask for and acknowledge all ideas and thoughts. Even though you may not use them, make sure to thank your team.
- Acknowledge that transitions can pose concern over the loss of knowledge, as well as an opportunity for all to grow.
- Acknowledge that finding the right fit for your organization will take some time and share your interim strategy.
- Keep your team informed about the recruiting/hiring process in an open and honest way.
Prepare for knowledge transfer, transition
The departing employee can be a tremendous asset in helping you prepare to find the right replacement and set the stage for transfer of knowledge and a smooth transition. Here are some thoughts about how to retain and build on the benefits of their experience:
- Together review responsibilities documented in the job description and update them based on the latest standards and processes used. Talk to the employee about what they’ve learned, what works, and what doesn’t. Document systems and processes they’ve implemented or revised.
- If the opportunity is available, have them share their knowledge with a new hire, interim hire or another person in the department to ensure continuity.
- Talk with the people who work with the departing employee about their insights as to how the job may be handled more efficiently and possible new processes/systems.
Need help nurturing your team from beginning to end? We are problem solvers and innovators when it comes to ideas to welcome, integrate, keep and say so-long to your new team members. We’ll help you implement down-to-earth strategies that are aligned with your company objectives, brand, message and voice. Call us.
Toll free: 800-742-6800 In Minneapolis/St. Paul 952-933-8365 www.askhillarys.com