Just about getting over the jet lag now we’re back in the UK. Had a bunch of work to catch up on and Marmite to eat, so haven’t had enough time for the newsletter. But, now I’m back and ready to resume normal service! Well, kind of normal.
This weeks letter is a follow-up to the one I last sent. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Off-boarding Part-Deux 🦆
I had quite a few responses to the last newsletter about off-boarding, they all had a similar theme, but this one from Tina sums it all up (and I fixed the auto-correct Tina!)
Hi Mike …
I enjoyed this post and agree completely around all the points but have a crucial question around communicating the exit, and this is ‘How’?
I struggle to find a good way to balance empathy for the leavers (especially in the push case) or communicating in cases where there were performance issues so usually do resort to some sort of empty ‘we thank them for / wish them best’ which is not good enough, I realise.
Sometimes, if the departure is amicable, we co-create a message (or a message is written by the leaver) and they post it themselves, and I find that is actually much better, but not always possible.
So, in short, do you have any tips on the ‘How’?
I’ve had a few conversations about this recently, I think the key is that you try and get as close to the truth as possible without revealing anything you shouldn’t. This will need to be a discussion with leaver, but couching it in terms that help them understand that they’re going to leave a hole and that their colleagues will be upset and may need some kind of closure should help.
If they’ve jumped, it’s as simple as saying “Laura has been great for us, we’re gutted to be losing her, but she needs to grow and unfortunately, we’re not able to offer her the support she needs, so she’s off to XX to be a YY and we do wish her the very best of luck. She knows our door is always open.”
If they’re being pushed, it’s trickier, but still relatively simple - stick as close to the truth as you can without giving away anything embarrassing or law-suit inducing: “Unfortunately we have to say goodbye to Bob at the end of next week, after discussing with Bob, we’ve amicably agreed it’s time for him to move on and find a role more suitable to his skills and experience. We wish him the very best.”
The important part about someone being pushed is that you’ve ticked the right boxes. You’ll need to be absolutely sure that you’ve followed the performance management process and given the employee every opportunity to improve - you really don’t want Bob to start rumours or tell everyone how unfair you’ve been.
I think you’re right - I like the idea of the leaver co-creating the message with you. Even if they’re being pushed, having them understand that their behaviour has led to this decision (or, however it got to this decision) but that, for the good of their colleagues well being you want them to help you write the communication.
📪 End #post
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