Ways to Proactively Plan for Employee Exits
Turnover is an inescapable element of any workforce. Regardless of company or industry, it’s simply going to happen. And with the end of the pandemic growing nearer by the day, it’s only a matter of time before employees begin exploring the job market in search of their new opportunity.
Here are ways that organizations can proactively prepare for two common types of turnover:
When employees choose to voluntarily exit their current role, it can be a normal reaction for companies to panic. Losing any quality performer can be devastating to an organization—both in terms of lost knowledge and financial costs to replace the resource.
To prepare for the turnover wave that is to come post-pandemic, companies can begin preparing by following these steps:
Evaluate your current employees
Take status of your resources and examine the likelihood of their departure. In the case of employees who are more apt to take a position outside of your organization, begin thinking about internal candidates that can take their place. You may also be forced to cultivate a recruiting strategy to replace this individual if no internal resources can step into the position.
Take inventory of your employees’ responsibilities
We all can think of some employees within our organizations that take on an inordinate amount of tasks. This can be particularly true of companies that were forced to make workforce reductions due to the pandemic. By taking note of your employees’ day-to-day responsibilities, you’ll be able to properly delegate these tasks if a critical difference-maker decides to depart your company.
Set up cross-training initiatives
When a single employee carries an abundance of specific knowledge and expertise, your organization will be set up for failure if this resource decides to depart. To promote flexibility within your workforce, involve multiple different team members on special projects or assignments. You can also set up cross-training initiatives to ensure that there is collective knowledge about how certain tasks are handled. This will help to mitigate headaches down the road.
Establish a formal offboarding process
In the event of an employee’s resignation, organizations need to have an offboarding checklist in place. From conducting an exit interview and taking note of the individual’s current projects or outstanding tasks to taking back company-provided devices and removing user access to accounts, these formal steps must be completed before the employee’s departure.
Retirement & Succession Planning
Many companies are faced with a workforce that is experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled—yet aging. To lessen the impact of losing these critical decision-makers to retirement, organizations should focus on a suitable succession plan. By bringing in a new set of personnel, you will be able to lay a strong foundation for your organization’s future.
From my experience in advising clients on formulating their own succession plans, it is important to focus on a few key areas:
Identify the personnel and areas whom you feel are most identifiable with retirement.
Are there some employees who will choose to retire early? Or are there others who will decide to continue working, even as they progress in age? Get a feel for your employees’ preferences to estimate when they will choose to step away.
Determine which specific positions would cause the most interruption to your business in the event of an individual’s retirement.
Are there certain positions that carry a critical amount of decision-making authority? Be sure that you have a viable plan to replace these individuals to maintain business continuity.
Identify internal employees that may best fill the gap and thrive in the position in the case of retirement.
Are there certain candidates who may be appropriate fits for the role? Are there employees who may have worked closely alongside the retiring individual? Make note of these cases and examine the practicality of promoting resources internally.
Establish cross-training efforts to prepare employees to take on other duties or transition into other roles.
Do you have time to set up training sessions between the retiring individual and the resource who you feel could best succeed them? By proactively setting up cross-training initiatives, this could pay dividends in the long run.
A strong succession plan will be thorough, transparent, and supportive. Organizations also owe it to their employees to be fair and balanced when handling employee promotions in the event of a sudden retirement. Regardless of who is chosen to step into a new role, be sure that you can back up your decision with facts and evidence.
We all know the problems that turnover can cause—particularly when your organization is losing a superstar employee. That’s why it’s so important to be proactive when preparing for employee turnover and creating establishing succession plans to fill the void left by retirement-age workers. By being diligent in planning ahead, your company will be well-equipped to handle various voluntary and involuntary turnover challenges when they occur.
If your organization is looking for specific strategies to retain your most valued employees, give our team at Acara a call. Our employer branding services can aid your company in optimizing its brand strategy and positively transforming your organization’s perception in the eyes of internal employees. This critical first step will be pivotal in strengthening your talent retention efforts.