I always watch a movie until the credits at the end (unless I fall asleep). It is incredible to think of how many people are involved in the production of a two-hour film. A leader should do the same – watch for every line of the credits. Never forget to thank anyone for their contribution, however small it may be. If someone is leaving your organisation make sure you wish them well. Facilitate an exit interview. In addition to its providing information to you that you may have missed whilst they were performing their role, it provides closure for the rest of the team.
What happens to the information unveiled in this, an essential part of a career path? Is it filed, shared or used for improvements? Who attends these and are the findings integrated into progress paths for other individuals so that the same mistakes, if any, can be avoided?
Who should do exit interviews – the leader or the HR Manager or both? I believe that an exit interview can offer invaluable information and should be thought of as a learning mechanism. They should be documented. However, if the departing employee is disgruntled or has an axe to grind, some of their opinions may need to be taken with a pinch of salt!
A leader needs to know why people are leaving- lack of appreciation, challenge, personal development, flexibility and opportunity to express themselves. Only a small percentage leave for career advancement and more money.
I believe that regular performance appraisals help retaining talent. A performance appraisal should be part of a career path mapping process. It is the leader’s responsibility to outline what future options are available, and to assist in steering the followers in the correct way with appropriate interventions. These should, in addition to performance, be evaluated and discussed at the follow-up appraisal session.
In my organisation we have a quarterly personal brand session in which we focus on the future and on current personal assets, so that we together as a team can leverage those assets for the good of the individual, our clients and the company as a whole. If there is an area that needs attention, it is discussed as an opportunity for improvement. I ensure that we start with what has been positive and finish with a way forward, including suggestions on how I could personally support the progress plan.