Employee Exit – The Gracious Way to Do It

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent interview has managed to divide the whole world into two camps— those who believe and sympathize with them and others who say they might have their grouses but there are better ways of addressing the issue; you do not bite the hand that feeds you or has fed you for a long time.

Aside from the family shenanigans that almost the whole world is vicariously participating in, this incident has thrown up a very vital HR issue— how to facilitate a gracious exit for employees and not let them leave with a grouse.

We can look at the other side of the coin and say how to address your grievances against your employer.

Executive business coach Neela Bettridge says. “Always leave with respect for yourself and your boss,’ she says. ‘You will meet these people again.”

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First and foremost, when an employee decides to leave, the first duty of any active HR is to find out the cause.

Is it for better prospects? Stalled progress? Bad manager? Or maybe some other personal issue?

Offer a Gracious Exit

Once you have established the real cause, try to be empathetic and ask how you can be of help. If you are interested in retaining the employee, then start negotiations. Stalled progress, bad supervisor, and more money can be addressed easily.

Job satisfaction and respectful treatment go hand-in-hand in employment.

According to one study, 72% of employees ranked “respectful treatment of all employees at all levels”, the most crucial factor in job satisfaction.

Hence, engaging with employees with constant feedback and promoting an open culture, emphasizing positive employee relations, should go a long way toward avoiding disgruntled employees.

Allow employees to leave graciously. See that all their dues are cleared, the exit formalities are duly met on both sides and most essential, the employee should feel he or she was dealt with fairly.

In today’s world, social media reviews are the archetypical sword hanging over your head. Companies do not want their hard-earned reputation to be thrown open for speculation and questioning due to one employee feeling slighted or unjustly treated.

Protect your Company’s Trade Secrets

A confidentiality agreement is compulsory for every employee to sign.

One employer was so upset with the Glassdoor reviews he was getting that he made everyone sign a confidentiality clause where no-one was allowed to talk about the company on any social media platform for two years.

Make sure that the employee’s access to any official data is immediately cut off.

The Aftermath

In case an employee sues the press or social media to defame you, then do not get into a back and forth business and take a go at the employee.

Remember, people love a lost cause, and you would be fighting an already lost battle.The most prudent path would be to get a legal opinion and serve a cease and desist order.

Litigation is costly so ensure that you have full proof to back your claims of breach. The aim should be to get immediate inductive relief in terms of stopping all harmful activities. Keep in mind where you want to file the lawsuit ( which court jurisdiction).

It is better to come to a mutually beneficial agreement as court cases are costly, lengthy. And if one cannot produce concrete evidence or the state law leans in favor of public policy and employee rights, then chances of finding a satisfactory outcome are slim.

No matter how bad your boss, ‘do not gossip or bad-mouth them,’ advises Bettridge. ‘You should aim to leave on really good terms; remain dignified, professional and thorough; engage with people, finish your work and debrief people properly, including your boss.’ Keep the emphasis on the positive, and talk about how your experience benefited you.

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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