Micro-moments and the art of exits: how to make leaving the company a positive experience

We’ve seen how micro-moments play an important role in workplace relationships, be it during the crucial first days in a company or when transitioning into a new role. However, the power of successfully managed micro-moments go further than that — to help employees navigate the last few days within the organization as well.

In the US, only 45% of employees leaving a job were satisfied by how their employer handled the exit process. The study by Gallup also noted that those who had a positive exit were almost 3 times more likely to recommend their organization in the future. This can have a huge impact on company reputation among potential employees, vendors, and partners, which means creating a positive exit experience is a priority. Let’s look at some micro-moments in the last few days of an employee’s tenure and the ways to make them constructive.

Scenario 1: The exit interview

Pam has announced her intention to leave the company to her boss, Mark. While Mark has been understanding of her decision, Pam is concerned that the upper management may not be as supportive. That’s when she receives calendar invites for conversations with Mark’s boss, Kim, as well as the HR manager, Stacey. Both the invites have listed the agenda of the meetings, giving Pam an honest indication of what to expect during the chats. This makes her more comfortable with the proposed meetings and the conversations go well because expectations were set in advance.

Scenario 2: The handover

Pam has been asked to guide her team-mate, Arnold, to take over her role. To streamline the process, Arnold shares a handover checklist and a list of questions with Pam. This comes as a relief to Pam, who had been extremely busy juggling wrap-ups. She goes through the documents, clearing doubts, sharing reports, and setting deadlines for each element of the handover. Later, both Arnold and Pam get Mark’s sign-off on the documents, setting the upper management at ease about Arnold’s preparedness to take over.

Scenario 3: The farewell

As her final day at the organization approaches, Pam feels anxious about leaving and worries that her peers and boss might be feeling let down by her decision to leave. In the morning, she sees a mail from Mark – it announces to the company that it’s Pam’s last day, expresses gratitude for the work she has done, and commends her efforts during her tenure. As the flood of wishes pour in on the email thread, Pam’s anxieties are allayed, and she responds with a farewell email, thanking Mark, Arnold, and her other peers. This entire experience sets a positive tone for the goodbye party after work, and for the relationship she will continue to share with the company even after leaving it.

Leaving a job can be a source of anxiety and uncertainty for an employee. However, positive micro-moments can help to support the decision he or she makes, while ensuring he/ she maintains positive connections with the company as well as peers. How would you use micro-moments to build a great exit experience and generate goodwill for the team and the organization?

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