What do you do when a valued employee hands in their notice? Follow these tips to get the most out of leavers in their final two weeks.

It’s something that all businesses go through: the departure of a talented and much-valued employee. And with just two weeks to go, even the most dedicated workers can struggle to stay motivated.

What if, instead of feeling disengaged and disconnected, the person leaving saw their final two weeks as a chance to shine? Here are our top tips to help you offboard employees in a way that’s productive and rewarding — for both parties.

1. have an open and honest exit interview

It’s often been said that individuals leave a manager, not an organization. But these days it’s not so simple. Job hopping has become the norm, especially among millennials, and the savviest employers are using exit interviews to review and reinvigorate their business. It’s a chance for open and honest dialogue about what went wrong, and how it can be put right. By demonstrating a culture of trust, the person leaving feels valued and relevant, and the door to a potential boomerang hire in the future, swings wide open.

2. put a formal offboarding structure in place

Many companies lack formal offboarding processes, yet it’s a proven win-win for employers and employees. Creating tools for the smooth handover of responsibilities and ongoing projects, client/supplier contact information, passwords and any other relevant information is essential. The most successful offboarding strategies are a collaborative process that empower departing employees, ensure workflow is not interrupted and keep the rest of the team motivated. All powerful, positive stuff!

3. agree a to-do list

Figure out what must be done, what’s nice to have and what can be handed over now. Overloading a leaver with non-urgent tasks may leave a sour taste in their mouth and make them think twice about recommending your company. Two weeks go by in the wink of an eye, so don’t get caught out with unrealistic expectations.

4. keep people involved, empowered and interested

The best possible outcome of a notice period is it becomes a time of learning and evolution. Involve departing employees in the recruitment process for their replacement. Gather their insight into the role, its challenges and opportunities, and ask for their help with selecting and onboarding someone new.

5. celebrate success

Finally, give credit where it’s due. Show appreciation for all your employee has achieved during their tenure. Feeling seen and valued, no matter what level they work at, ensures they are leaving on a high note. It also goes a long way to cementing your reputation as a respectful and supportive employer.

Finally, if nothing you do seems to ease the disruption caused by exiting workers, perhaps it’s time to rethink. Pioneering companies are now looking seriously at the open transition approach, which allows employees to look for a new job while remaining employed in their current one. Transparency about job and career possibilities can be a less stressful alternative to the statutory two weeks' notice for all concerned, with the bonus that potential leavers might choose to stick around.

Whatever decision you make, establishing a great offboarding structure is key to positively navigating the final days with your employee. And it doesn’t have to be daunting. Randstad stays on top of business trends and workforce solutions so that you always get up-to-the-minute insight and advice on the best practices for you. Contact us today to see how we can help.