Leveraging Leavers: Let’s stay friends
Author Donna Hamilton – FCIPD | Director of Customer Success at Peachy Mondays
Losing a valued employee costs dearly – the loss of knowledge, the time and cost to rehire and the potentially negative impact on the morale of those left behind. However, it is an inevitable part of being in the business of employing people. And a certain amount of churn can even be desirable – diversifying experience and stimulating new ways of thinking and working.
With the phenomenon known as “the great resignation” ringing in our ears and shouting from the headlines in the HR press, the attention of people leaders has naturally focused on the relationships that we have with our current employees and preventing employee turnover. But there’s a lot that we can learn from leavers and maintaining a positive relationship with our “alumni” can reap dividends.
Here are four great reasons why it’s important to look after leavers:
- Their colleagues are watching. Although your employee has decided to leave the organisation, it’s likely that they will maintain their contact and relationships with co-workers. Ensuring that leavers have a positive and smooth leaving experience reflects well on your organisation and builds loyalty amongst those that remain behind.
- They are a potential source of recruitment. Colleagues who leave as ambassadors are more likely to recommend you as an employer to others in their network with similar skills and experience. Your employer brand and reputation are crucial, particularly when skills are in short supply. Potential candidates will be interested in what ex-employees have to say about you as an employer. Equally, leavers might want to re-join your organisation at some point in the future. Maybe their new role isn’t quite what they thought it would be and they’d like to return (boomerang hires)? Or maybe your organisation can’t deliver what they need from their career/life now, but will be able to at some point in the future?
- They are a great source of insight. Done well, exit interviews can reveal a great deal of information about colleagues’ experience of work and reasons for leaving. That insight can be put to good use to improve your organisation’s culture and employees’ experience of work. If your employee listening platform enables you to join up data across the employee lifecycle, you may even be able to use the resulting insight to identify (and address) leading indicators of employee turnover.
- It’s the right thing to do. Most employees do a great job, and even if they have decided that their future lies elsewhere, they still deserve a positive leaving experience. Celebrate their contribution and make it easy for them to stay in touch, perhaps through creating alumni groups on social media or continuing to invite ex-colleagues to social events.
People leave organisations, it’s inevitable, but investing some time and effort into making the leaving experience a positive one, can reap dividends.
We’re here to help you Listen better, Act faster, and Drive engagement. If you’d like to learn more about how Peachy Mondays helps organisations like yours to learn more about why people leave – and take action to improve the employee experience, get in touch.
©Peachy Mondays 2022 Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash