A strong exit programme is as critical for an organisation as an induction programme.
It is inevitable. As newer employees join a company, the older ones call it quits and move out to greener pastures. This has been the usual practice.
However, what has changed, of late, is the way people are moving out. Both the employers and the employees try to make the exit a memorable one.
After all, the same employee might join back, after a few years or there could be a situation where the boss and the subordinate may land up in the same company, sometime in the future.
Recently, in an unprecedented move, the outgoing CEO of Deloitte, Udayan Sen, gifted an iPad to all his co-workers — assistant managers and directors. To his associates who were executives and senior executives, he gifted a Kindle each. This gesture became a topic of discussion in the corporate world and for his co-workers, it was an affair to remember.
Sen’s gifts were a noble gesture by a parting employee. However, the trend of companies making it memorable for an outgoing employee is also fast catching up in the country.
Some companies do have a structured severance policy in place for departing employees. A special severance package is also quite a common practice in many countries.
“If it is important to have a strong induction programme, it is equally critical to have a similar practice for an exit,” says an industry observer.
In India, there are a few companies which engage in programmess and skill-management techniques for their employees during the notice period.
“It helps in both retention and hiring” says a senior HR consultant.
For instance, at Wockhardt Hospitals, there is a resignation counselling session, right after the employee expresses the intention to resign. Besides, it also has a seven-day withdrawal period so that the employee can think the matter over. In addition, the company also runs an alumni club for its ex-employees.
“Parting is a very emotional exercise. Hence, maintaining the right emotional state is critical for any company,” says, Rajani Tewari, head-HR, Wockhardt Hospitals.
The longer the period the employee has spent with the company, the deeper the emotional connect. “After working in an office for a decade, it starts feeling like home and one’s colleagues become family members,” says a senior HR official.
Companies have realised the fact that outgoing employees are like brand messengers who will carry along with them all the goodwill.
“Even post separation, an ex-employee can be helpful for employee and client references,” says Sonal Arora, assistant V-P, TeamLease Services.
“Globally, any reputed company will fiercely protect its brand equity by ensuring that employees part ways in an amicable and friendly manner. This is to ensure that the brand gets mentioned later in a positive manner,” concurs, Vikram Vuppala, CEO and founder, NephroPlus.
The onus of an amicable exit is not always on the employer. Even the employee needs to take certain measures. “A team leader on the verge of moving out needs to know that he or she has to still uphold the faith, which he or she had, during all the time spent working with the organisation.”
“All outgoing employees need to ensure that they are the right cultural ambassadors even though they are leaving,” she adds.
After all, moving out of one company does not put an end to a career. It is an ongoing ladder that is built through patience, commitment and strength. In these days of social media, both good and bad words spread very fast.