Failing to properly onboard your employees can have some crippling effects – from lower job satisfaction, to lower productivity, to higher turnover. But what about when an employee leaves your company? First impressions are important, but so are last ones. Instead of letting them walk out the door and never look back, properly offboarding them can work to your advantage.
What exactly is offboarding? It’s the strategic process of transitioning an employee from an organization. Too often, the typical offboarding process includes a frantic wrap-up or transfer of projects and a hasty farewell. If that process sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. Many companies make the critical mistake of not properly offboarding their employees. According to Aberdeen’s 2013 onboarding and offboarding research, only 29% of organizations have a formal offboarding process in place.
Harvard Business Review has some great actionable tips on how to get started. And while it may seem like spending time and money on departing employees is counterproductive, here are some reasons why you should be improving your offboarding process:
Former employees can provide great feedback
Who better to give you honest and constructive criticism than someone who has had first-hand experience? When an employee leaves your company, there is an opportunity to get feedback on both you and your company. Part of the offboarding process for employees should include exit surveys about their experiences with your company. These employees can give you insight on what areas you may need to improve and what to focus on next.
Former employees can serve as your ambassadors
Former employees are in a perfect position to tell other potential employees about their positive experiences with your company, thus becoming essential ambassadors. There is no better HR recruiter than someone who has worked for your company and highly recommends it to future hires. They can also speak positively of your company to potential customers and investors as well. If your employee leaves on a good note, they’ll be more likely to have a positive view of your company overall.
Former employees may be future employees
A boomerang employee is someone who leaves an organization and then rejoins that same organization at a future date. According to a recent Workplace Trends study, 46 percent of Millennials would consider going back to companies they left, compared to 33 percent of Gen Xers and 29 percent of Baby Boomers. This means that the amount of boomerang employees is likely to grow, given that Millennials are taking over the workplace.
If an employee leaves a company on good terms, they may end up returning.
Former employees have more internet influence than ever before
With sites such as Glassdoor, RateMyEmployer, and CareerBliss, the internet is a powerful tool for employees who may want to leave a review for their former workplace. These employees can either be an advocate for your company, or an enemy.
Social media is a powerful tool as well. An Adecco study from 2015 found that 25 percent of potential employees said they use LinkedIn to check an employer’s reviews. 22 percent said they use Facebook.
Former employees can make great advisors
A proper offboarding process can help you to remain in touch with your departing employees, which can work to your advantage. Oftentimes, employees have close relationships with your clients and other employees, and have familiarity with your company’s inner workings. As a result, after they terminate their employment, they may still be able to work with you in some capacity, even as a consultant.