Managing leavers is a very important part of running a business, and it’s something that often gets overlooked. You can learn a lot from people who leave your business, and how you handle their final days of employment can have a big impact on other employees.

It may be extremely frustrating to let a talented employee go but you need to be as professional as possible and focus on getting everything in order. If you don’t have things organized when an employee leaves then your business will suffer.

It’s so important to get things in order before they leave so that you can make the best out of the situation and prepare for the future. Here are some things you can do to manage leavers for maximum benefit.

1. Have A Good Exit Strategy

Do not underestimate the power of a good exit strategy. An exit strategy is made up of many different aspects and tasks that need to be organized. You need to make sure the transition is a smooth as possible and all the paperwork is in order for an easy handover.

An extensive exit strategy should be put into action as soon as an employee gives their notice. Some of the things you might want to include in an exit strategy are listed below.

2. The Handover Is Crucial

You will need to make sure that all the leavers work is organized in a detailed handover. Many companies struggle to pick up the pieces after a poor handover. If the person taking over doesn’t have enough information they will struggle to carry out the work effectively.

It’s not just about sending an email with a few bullet points, handovers can sometimes take up the entire notice period. Get the staff member who is taking over to work closely with the person who is leaving, so that they truly understand what needs to be done when they leave.

3. Handle Leavers Well

Be aware that when someone announces they are leaving, everyone will be watching what you do next. They will expect you to handle things professionally and fairly, and they will quickly pick up on any major issues that arise.

Other employees will want to see that people choosing to leave get dealt with respect, and they will judge you if you act inappropriately. Don’t be tempted to bad mouth the person after they have left, as this isn’t very professional and other employees will notice. There is also sometimes a tense atmosphere in the office when people say they are leaving, be aware of this and do what you can to raise people’s spirits.

4. What Are Their Plans? Exit Interview

Many companies miss out on the chance to really find out why people leave, and what they think of their company. Put an exit interview procedure in place when people leave.

You can then use it to find out where people plan on going, why they wanted to leave, what improvements you can make and maintain an amicable relationship with the person that is leaving. You never know, you might be able to work together on future projects.

5. Telling Other Employees

You need to work out the right time to tell other employees. This should be listed in the steps that should be taken when someone hands in their notice. When will you tell the rest of the team and how will you deliver the news? The manner in which you tell them is crucial to them understanding what has happened and any impact it will have on them.

6. Establishing The Notice Period

When your employee hands in their notice it’s important to determine the date in which they will leave the business. This way you are both on the same page and you can start planning properly. Be aware that some employees will want to use up their holiday as part of their notice, this is something you may need to come to an agreement on.

7. Ask If They Require A Reference

By law you have to give a reference, but it may be polite to ask whether or not they want one. It also means you can take the time to prepare one if necessary.

8. Organize Their Final Projects & Reassign Their Workload

You will need to figure out what work they will do in their last month at the company. You want to make sure they still deliver work for you and making sure they have a list of their final projects for completion will ensure this happens.

You also need to reassign their workload to another member of staff before they leave so that a handover can take place.

9. Protect Your Intellectual Property

It’s a good idea to routinely change company passwords when someone leaves. They could take your information with them onto other companies, and you don’t want them to be able to access your files once they leave.

About the author:  Neil Maycock works as a business coach giving small business and development advice. He recommends MyHRToolkit for all your Annual Leave and absence management needs.
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