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Employee Exits - So often a missed opportunity

On the last day of my corporate job at the Arbinger Institute, last Friday, my director scheduled some time on my calendar to wrap things up for my exit. I guessed that he would cover outstanding details, client handoffs and check that all was in place. To my surprise, many of my teammates were waiting for me on the call. They were there just to express appreciation, celebrate me, and keep in touch. I’m glad they allowed me to grab this picture, what an amazing team!

Many of us have had a very different experience on the last day of our job, than the one I received. We’ve been invited to meet with our boss or HR leader, usually both, and then mater-of-factly informed that we are no longer needed. We then are escorted to our office where we are informed that we need to pack all of or personal belongings and leave immediately (or a virtual version of this). Note: I’ve been on both sides of these less than human experiences, so I’m not blaming or judging any individuals here.

Maybe I’ll explore the dark side of employee exits/termination later, but today I want to celebrate the Arbinger Institute for walking their outward-mindset talk. Consider with me what is possible, from leaders and organizations, as we a part ways from a work relationship.

Thank you Arbinger leaders and team for what you did and how you impacted me through the process of my departure!

Here is a partial list-

· My direct leader listened to me, supported me and partnered with me to craft an exit that would be good for me and for Arbinger

· Company leaders and HR proactively communicated with me, offered support not only with my exit, but with my future goals and opened their doors to me for any needs

· Clear policies were in place that will recognize my contributions for months after my exit

· Supported me and clients during my 2 ½ week Europe vacation just prior to my departure

· Sent me a thoughtful gift and thank you for my years of service

· Supported my future technology needs in the transition

· At an all-hands company meeting, top leaders publicly expressed their gratitude for me and my contributions to help the company be where it is today

· Invited me to share my thoughts and feelings with the Arbinger team

· Teammates reached out to me asking about my departure, sharing appreciation for our relationship and their desire to continue it in the future

· Leaders expressed to me that I will always be part of the Arbinger family

· They saw me. Listened to me. Heard me. Valued me

Wow!! This impact over time is difficult to measure and it definitely will continue to be reciprocated over time.

Arbinger helps organizations and leaders see people as people who matter, are valued and loved. Nothing builds engagement and enhances performance more than when leaders authentically look outward, see people and consider their own impact on others. I feel blessed and honored to have been a part of this wonderful organization the past 6+ years.

As I move into my future adventure as a professional and executive coach, I’ll be sharing Arbinger with passion and enthusiasm to those I connect with. I’ll do this because of what I learned there, but more because of the way the leaders (everyone is a leader) helped me feel as a person who is seen, heard and valued. That I will never forget.

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