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The Conference Room: Preserving Bridges

by Editorial Staff--South Jersey Biz

Every employer would prefer to keep their team together for the long haul, but sometimes staff members decide to move on. Whether that becomes a positive or negative experience is entirely up to how both parties react. So what are some ways you can ensure a departing employee leaves on good terms? Two local managers share their thoughts.

Wendy A. Brooks (pictured,left), director of business development, Perry Resources, Marlton
“The primary focus of any organization should be on maintaining good relations and mutual respect with their employees. One of the ways to help ensure that a departing employee leaves on good terms is to conduct an exit interview. Not only is the exit interview a chance to provide the exiting employee with some positive feedback on his strengths and accomplishments, but it also gives the departing employee a chance to provide their feedback. By maintaining a calm and objective demeanor throughout the exit interview, the employer can be provided the opportunity to ensure the employee leaves on a positive note with mutual respect, which is a win-win for both the employee and the organization.”

Christine M. Schaefer (pictured, right), owner, CEM HR Strategies, Maple Shade
“The most important thing is to respect the departing employee’s dignity and have respect for their decision. It’s really all about how the employee is able to leave the building: Be nearby but let them clean out their desk without hovering over. Walk them to the door, shake their hand and wish them good luck—that’s the way to let someone go. Exit interviews should always be done, just to find out why the employee decided to leave. In these ways, the company can show respect for the departing person, whether they decided to leave on their own or are being let go for cause. I think managers need to be trained in this, because if it isn’t done properly, the company (and manager) can be sued.”

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 2, Issue 8 (August, 2012).
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