Business / View

Sensible exit management gives edge over rivals

By ROBERT PARKINSON (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-14 09:48

As a provider of human resources consulting services, I have been helping solve related issues for thousands of HR professionals and employers in the past 15 years.

Unexpectedly, the most nerve-wracking issue is neither about recruitment nor managing employees' productivity which we often mention. It is about how to have a professional employee exit management to maximize the benefit a company could get from its former employees and minimize the potential damage they might cause.

The importance of employee exit management has often been ignored by many enterprises as they mistakenly take the completion of its employee's termination procedure as the end point of their relationship.

In fact, your employees' leaving does not mean they could not have any more influence on your company; the potential effects they could cause to you are enormous, in terms of cost saving, company brand building, profit recreating, etc.

Many employers withhold documents, charge penalties, block work-related information, revoke social insurance, and so on, all to set numerous barriers to an employee's exit process, designed to either retain or retaliate against the exiting employee.

Yet, sharp-sighted employers, by comparison, would always choose to make their employee exit process as humane as possible since they are able to foresee the negative impact an angry employee could have on other staff internally as well as the damage it might do to a company's reputation externally.

An example could be the damage caused to Asus by WeiqiXie's resignation, when he sent an e-mail to the entire manufacturing department and disclosed the nonfeasance of Asus's high-level personnel that dramatically ruined Asus's brand image.

Being defensive about employee's separation application does no good to your company as employee turnover is inevitable. The smart choice to make would be setting a sincere exit interview to dig out the weaknesses of your company and make sure that you treat your leaving employees in the normal way, until their offboarding procedure finishes.

Having a humane leaving procedure is only the first stage of employee exit management. Keeping an intimate relationship with former employees after their departure is even more crucial.

McKinsey & Company is famous for its well-known "McKinsey Alumni", which is a roster recording the details of all employees who had left.

Another example is Bain & Company's exit staff management story. Bain & Co not only has a database recording the information of over 2000 former employees but a supervisor in the HR department to track its old employees' career development and update the database accordingly.

Last but not least, whether your company has a friendly rehiring policy and an open mind to bring people back-that is another indicator of your performance on employee exit management.

According to research into the Fortune 500 companies, those who are re-employed are 40-50 percent more efficient at work compared with their first-time-hired peers. The Fortune 500 companies are able to save $12 million in annual costs on average by bringing former employees back.

The author is CEO & Founder of RMG Selection.

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