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Exits are not always as graceful as they could be. Many times when an employee provides notice of his or her intent to resign, management "writes off" the individual, reacting somewhat spitefully as if they had been snubbed, and possibly by seeking revenge. Other reactions may include ignoring the individual or treating the person as a "non-employee" (such as excluding him or her from meetings or events) during the notice period.
Employees treated in this manner typically feel used and betrayed, and these final memories of employment are bitter and lasting. This also creates uncomfortable tension among co-workers who feel their loyalty is divided between their manager and the resigning employee. To make matters worse, employees who leave with bad feelings will often complain to many other people about the way they were treated, and they are more likely to file charges or lawsuits involving claims of discrimination or mistreatment against the company, resulting in potential reputation issues and financial loss.
In an attempt to facilitate the transition, some companies have an "Exit Interview" process, which may involve asking the departing employee to complete a questionnaire and/or participate in a one-on-one interview, usually conducted by a member of the Human Resources department. In many cases though, the employee may regard this process as a pointless effort because the HR representative may have had little knowledge of or involvement with the employee's situation (or may have been aware of the employee's issues but was not able to resolve them). Also, many companies do little or nothing with the results of exit interviews and this may be well known among employees.
~ Today, more than ever before, companies can't afford to disregard or alienate departing employees, and must ensure that positive relations are maintained in spite of individuals' decisions to leave. Here is a list of suggestions for making employees' exits productive and graceful transitions:
Some of the most important questions to ask the individual:
Make resignations "win/win" instead of "win/lose". Do all that you can to enable employees to leave with dignity, feel good about the company, speak well of the organization to others, refer others to the company for employment, and to seek reemployment in the future.
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