The exit experience is often swept under the rug in organizations; we don’t want to admit that team members will eventually leave. We are more accustomed to attrition in campus recreation and well-being since most of our workforce is student employees. Eventually, a student will graduate or transfer, leaving them ineligible to work in a student position, and creating higher attrition rates. Simply put, our industry has normalized being okay with employee turnover.
However, when it comes to full-time employees, our industry has not excelled in creating attractive compensation plans or implementing broadbanding as we discussed in Part Two. So, we have unfortunately created a culture that if a full-time team member wants to proverbial move up, they must move out. Just as the recruitment process is critical in Part One, the final stage of the talent acquisition process must be addressed: the departure.
The Exit Experience
Creating a positive exit experience needs to begin with identifying who our competitors are and asking ourselves why does our best talent leave? As mentioned above, we understand why student team members leave, but full-time team members leaving is a little more complex.
Whether the individual is a student or a full-time team member, most elements of a positive exit experience will be similar. Exiting may be the final stage of the coaching process. It should include opportunities to discuss the team member’s experience, performance, development and growth, and perceptions of the organization and the industry. A focus should be placed on appreciation for the team member’s contributions and an avenue for the employee to be heard.
Ultimately, we should create brand ambassadors for our organization and opportunities for the team members and alums to remain engaged.
Here are questions to ask yourself when developing a positive exit experience:
- Does your organization have a well-defined off-boarding checklist with relationship-focused and transactional items?
- Does your organization provide an opportunity for a final coaching conversation and exit interview?
- Do you have a way to collect both qualitative and quantitative feedback about the team member’s experience?
- Are managers trained to deliver a final coaching conversation and exit interview?
- Does your organization have an established method of communication with alums and previous team members?
- Does your organization provide opportunities for previous team members to give back to the organization?
Creating a world-class employee journey is not a simple task; the team members who make up an organization should be the No. 1 priority. After all, if you take care of and invest in your people, they will take care of everything else.