#Nextchat: The Value of Compassionate Offboarding



Onboarding seems to be getting all the attention these days when it comes to the employee experience—but what about offboarding?  

Reductions in force still happen and are never pleasant for anyone involved, but they shouldn’t necessarily be the end of an employee-employer relationship.

Smart organizations are using thoughtful offboarding programs to transform the relationship.

If the process is conducted with compassion, it will help to preserve employee pride and self-worth and will pave the way for positive outcomes down the road.

In her blog post “Value of Compassionate Offboarding,” outplacement and career management expert Caroline Vernon says, “Layoffs or reductions in force aren’t uncommon these days, but involuntary separations still bring up difficult emotions. After all, we are talking about the act of letting someone go. As HR practitioners, we make hard choices every day. But as we do so, are we making a conscious effort to preserve the dignity of those who are exiting the organization involuntarily? Are we making a conscious effort to practice kindness and compassion?”

It is crucial to manage the delicate employee offboarding process with empathy and care because the last impression an employee has of your company is critically important. “This is why we need to pay attention to how our employees feel when they leave our company, even in the case of difficult events like a layoff,” Vernon adds. “The great Maya Angelou said it best: ‘I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

“If the parting happens on positive terms, former employees are more likely to remain loyal customers—or serve as voluntary ambassadors for the company brand on Glassdoor and social media.

“Past employees might send client referrals, serve as conduits to new business networks, or even return as boomerang employees in this competitive and quickly-shifting job market.”

A compassionate offboarding program is an investment all organizations can make to ensure that their culture and brand continue to be a positive force both inside and outside their workplace.

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on July 24 for #Nextchat with special guest Caroline Vernon @outplacementSME. We’ll chat about tips, advice and best practices for creating a compassionate and complete offboarding program.

Q1. What materials should HR gather for a layoff notification?

Q2. How should HR prepare for the in-person offboarding meeting?

Q3. What are some specific offboarding tools and services that will support the employee during a layoff or termination?

Q4. What should employers ALWAYS say or do during an offboarding meeting?

Q5. What should employers NEVER say or do during an offboarding meeting?

Q6. What mistakes most commonly occur during an involuntary offboarding process?

Q7. What are the most common missed opportunities during a voluntary offboarding process?

Q8. What are best practices, tips and advice for offboarding related to a reduction in force so that your organization retains a positive employer brand?

How to participate in an HR Twitter chat.






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