The Employee Experience When Employment Ends

An inevitable part of having employees is that eventually, those employees leave. Putting some thought into the employee experience through somebody’s last day is well worth the effort. Your former employees are still active in local community and workforce, and will continue to be ambassadors (or detractors!) of your company.

Resignations can bring up a lot of feelings all around. It’s a big decision for the employee who is leaving. For managers and colleagues, it can also bring up questions about the reasons that employee is leaving, as well as what will happen next. All of this can make for uncertainty and anxiety hanging in the air.

This is a great time to get really clear with everybody on what to expect. That might include information for the departing employee:

  • Timing for final pay as well as PTO payout and benefits termination
  • How you’ll manage their access, including when they will lose access to things like email, the building, parking, etc.
  • How you want to handle informing the rest of the team
  • How you want to handle informing external partners (clients, vendors, etc.)
  • What you need from them to ensure a smooth transition, including hand-off of projects and knowledge
  • If you’ll be doing an exit interview with them

As well as information for the team:

  • The short-term plan for the projects and tasks the departing employee worked on (This is a great one to solicit questions on to ensure nothing falls between the cracks!)
  • The long-term plan for the role, including if/when it will be backfilled
  • Who to go to with questions that come up along the way

Beyond the obvious benefits of getting everybody on the same page, taking a moment to set those expectations can also help soothe the anxieties that can come up with departures. It communicates to the departing employee that you’re focused on remaining warm and professional through their last day. It communicates to the team that they won’t be plunged into chaos.

Warmth and clarity on what to expect helps the departing employee leave on a positive note. And just as importantly, it tells the rest of your team that departures don’t need to be fraught events. Taking the time to ensure a smooth transition with departing employees is well worth the effort.

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