Several companies talk about ‘Recruitment’ and ‘Retention’ strategies. I have yet to come across a company that has embraced the ‘Regain’ strategy. In fact, even the recruitment and retention strategies require a major overhaul because what may have worked in the past is not going to work in today’s IT climate.
Some companies make the mistake of being very eager to let go of people after they have resigned. A company that I know of follows this practice. They are so quick to close the discussion when their employee approaches them with a resignation letter, that they don’t pay heed to the fact that they are really just embarrassed that they previously invested their time and effort for them. Usually, companies do this because they fear that the longer the exiting employees stick around, the more doubt it would raise regarding their capability in retaining staff. However, by taking an aggressive approach, they don’t realize they are treating the employee very poorly. Any employee leaving the organization is, in some way, an ambassador of the company.
The moment an employee hands in his or her papers, a new moment of truth begins. After a positive dialogue, when it becomes clear that the decision is irreversible, the associated staff should treat it very professionally and ensure that the exit processes are executed smoothly.
- Make a transition plan
- Inform relevant people and stakeholders
- Inform administration
- Be kind
Most companies fear ripple effect when someone is resigning, but there is no need for this to happen. As a company, you can take this in the right stride by treating your resigning employees in a professional and respectable manner. No individual is inherently bad, but when pushed to a corner, they would try to push back as well.
When explaining or reminding the exiting employees of the terms and conditions that will come into effect during the notice period, do so with respect. Never be threatening and never leave any unpleasantness by being insensitive to the employee’s decision to quit and join another job.
Unless the performance standard of the employee was below par (objectively), always make sure to let the employee know that he/she could consider joining back.
Although it must also be pointed out that even if the employee did not perform as well as you expected, there is still no reason to treat him or her poorly. Ensure that they leave the organization with pleasantness and will remember it for the professionalism and good faith that it meted out.
Here are a few ideas you can implement to best regain your employees:
- Build a database of people that resign
- Build a portal for company alumni
- Invite them to company events
- Send them referral requests when you are hiring
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth in the intricately connected network of the IT world!