When a colleague leaves your business, that normally signals the end of your association. But what if it can be mutually beneficial for both parties?
Every HR team has its own version of offboarding. The process normally ranges from comprehensive programmes with exit interviews and a flourishing alumni network to a perfunctory goodbye trip to IT to hand over your laptop.
Those companies falling into the latter camp are overlooking an important part of the employee lifecycle which could have a significant impact on your organisation’s reputation, culture and ability to retain talent.
Done right, offboarding can create a cohort of passionate brand ambassadors, give you valuable insights into improving the employee experience and can serve as an avenue for future talent acquisition. For example, one study found that 15% of new hires are rehires and referrals and that businesses with alumni programmes had a 16% higher Glassdoor rating on average.
So, if former employees have the power to make an impact on the future of your business, how do you ensure you’re setting yourself up for success when parting company?
Show you care – It’s essential to express your gratitude to departing employees for their efforts. Simple gestures like offering support, having a conversation with them and sending a handwritten note from a senior leader can create a positive lasting memory. This could help former employees speak positively about your business in the future.
Establish an alumni network – A social network of former employees can help to foster a sense of community, connect former colleagues and provide a space for knowledge sharing and career development. Creating a LinkedIn group for former employees is a cost-effective and straightforward way to start. This network could turn into a thriving community and a valuable marketing channel for your organisation.
Stay in touch – Maintaining communication with former employees can help to keep them engaged and connected with your business. You can create a communication plan, which can be as simple as sending a quarterly email newsletter to update former employees with updates on the latest comings and goings. This could lead to new business opportunities down the line.
Offboarding is a great opportunity for organisations to leave a positive lasting impression on their departing employees. By creating a meaningful offboarding experience, you can build a community of passionate brand ambassadors, gain valuable insights into improving the employee experience, and attract future talent.