How to Ensure an Amicable Exit for an Employee

How you handle the exit of an employee also speaks volumes about your company culture

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By Sanchita Dash


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When you are running a business, it's not just the hires that you need to take care of but also the fires. With numerous employee review sites doing the rounds, a disgruntled employee exiting the company could tarnish your image in the industry.

How you handle the exit of an employee also speaks volumes about your company culture in front of your current employees. Therefore, it is important for the founder or the HR of the company to ensure employee exits are amicable.

Entrepreneur India spoke to experts in the industry about how to handle an exit in your company.

Be Transparent

One of the most important aspects of handling an exit is to make sure that you are clear and transparent about the exit process, believes Gaurav Gupta, Founder and Director, SquareBoat-Solutions Private Limited.

While hiring an employee, it's important to have clear policies regarding separation be it due to redundancies, disciplinary reasons or performance issues, duly signed by the employee. "Employment contract needs to be drafted and worded carefully so as to act as a cover for any such eventualities. The performance management system needs to be duly explained to all new joiners and the Goal Planning needs to be documented with SMART principled targets," said Jaydeep Das, Director HR & Administration, ChildFund India.

Maintain a Record

For every company, it's essential to have all processes and conversations documented. Das believes that the seriousness of any business with regards to performance is basically reflected in the ways performance conversations are documented. "Having an extendable probationary clause will come handy in case employees need to be provided buffer space to perform and perform well to secure their journey with the organisation, provided those notes are available on record," he said. Right after hiring an employee, the art of leading difficult conversations plays a major role for the leaders, he believes.

Feedback is Crucial

When an employee is exiting the company, the founder should be aware of the discrepancies that led to the employee's exit. As the employee has already decided to leave the company, management should be able to separate the problems and the person to ensure that the dignity of life at work is honoured, believes Das. Persuasion skill ups the success probability for an amicable separation. "Once the stage is reached wherein kind of win-win situation is created it will be time again for documentation. A graceful exit while we address the loss caused to the organisation would be preferred way out for any outgoing employee," said Das.

An important part of the exit process is the HR feedback form which is crucial for the company. As the employee is usually honest during this process, the feedback will help the company know more about how to build a better culture or work environment, believes Gupta.

On a lighter note, Gupta added that the organisation should also look at planning a nice farewell for the employee with the whole team. The trick is here to not burn bridges with the employee. "It's important to acknowledge and appreciate the work that the employee did during his/her tenure. It is also important to give the option to re-join the organisation as it makes the employee feel elated just in case the new job doesn't work out for him," said Gupta.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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