The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

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There is a single offboarding experience that sticks out in my mind as one of the most positive work experiences I’ve ever had.  While these days we have technology and alumni networks to help us out, successful offboarding is more about the people than about the technology or process.

As usual, I had not been looking for a job as I was honestly quite pleased with my situation.  It was a good company, I was surrounded by a good team, and I was paid fairly.  As always, the headhunters call, and while I ignore almost all of them or try rto refer friends, one came across my phone that sounded intrigueing.  I did call back and after doing some research on the industry, I landed interviews and multiple offers at the top three firms in the country (and probably globally).

I walked into “Karen’s” office on the appointed day and gave her my resignation letter.  Although there was some disappointment, “Karen” only asked, “Is this really what you want?”  The answer was a clear “Yes.”  With good employees, there is always the desire to offer more money, a promotion, or whatever it might be that the employee “wants.”  But we really need to understand the drivers for voluntary turnover.  For employees who are unhappy, no amount of money or position will save them in the long term.  Some employees will offer a resignation hoping you’ll give them more money.  In this case, there are two possibilities:  1) your compensation program sucks.  2) you really don’t need to keep this employee – they are not engaged.

But for employees like me who simply needed different learning opportunities, you’re not going to keep them anyway.  However, you can make professional friends and enemies based on how you offboard.  Karen wanted to make sure I hadn’t made a rash decision and upon seeing that I had thought through my decisions carefully, she didn’t argue or offer anything to stay.  It conveyed the message that what I thought was best for myself was indeed (most likely) the best thing.  Her approach was that of a friend and colleague, but honest, caring, and thoughtful as a leader.

This is a blog about technology, but we should never forget that technology is only an enabler for putting our best foot forward.

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