Dignified Exits

As an employer, business mentor, mother, family member and friend, it is one of my life goals to teach people how to move on, stop wasting valuable and limited business time, and to always look for the opportunities in a disruption.

Over my 20 plus years of employing diverse and complex individuals, I have had to deal with my fair share of unexpected departures, which can create a challenge for most. Working my way through my emails in the early hours of morning to find a store manager’s immediate resignation is far from an ideal way to start my day.

There are two ways that any employer can deal with this type of situation…
Option one: We can lock down, air our frustrations and shut the employee out of any process or conversations going forward. I mean, aren’t we entitled to behave this way, as there has been considerable time and money invested in their recruitment and training?
Option two: We can accept that people’s lives change, or mistakes happen and that there is, at the very least, an opportunity that can be salvaged from this.

I believe whole-heartedly that it is better to create a positive space around the departure of a team member to protect your brand and business culture. An employee that has had a good experience on exit is more likely to continue her initial advocacy and that to me, simply just makes great business sense.
Always keep doors open, you never know where and how you will encounter this person again. A departure is not a personal stick-it-to-you moment – in most cases it is simply a person who has had a change of mind or circumstance.

Next time you are presented with the resignation of a key employee take this approach: – de-personalise, and look at the opportunities moving forward. Not only will you save yourself time, but you will nearly always come up with a better result and just maybe an advocate for life .

Business is not personal – a departing employee is not the same as a cheating spouse who decides to end the marriage – cut out the emotion and look only for the business opportunities. Believe me they are there.

Annah Stretton

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