If on average 75% of employees are looking for a new job the reality is you are paying a lot of people who aren’t committed long-term to the company.  It is an unfortunate reality that no one likes to talk about.  People aren’t usually crazy about change so while they prefer to be elsewhere, there is an odd comfort of staying where they are and collecting a check, even if it isn’t what they want, or what the company would want if they knew.

Increasing the challenge is as of 2010 there were 27.9 million small businesses, and 18,500 firms with 500 employees or more.  This is to say we live in a nation where small business dominates and small business human resources departments face challenges large corporations don’t.  There is a different dynamic in a business with less than 500 employees.  It is a more personal environment, often located in less urban areas which often can create an additional layer of discomfort for those in human resources.   HR doesn’t let someone go and never see them again, that isn’t the reality.  The reality is they let someone go and then see them off site at the grocery, church, their children’s sports events or maybe just in passing.

This small business dynamic leads down one of two paths when it comes to an employee who is no longer engaged.  One, hope the employee leaves and accept the loss in money and productivity until he/she does.  Or two, a more productive approach, engage the employee in an exit plan.

Engaging an employee in actively thinking about their future will promote one of two things.  One the employee will self identify that there are opportunities which merit re-engaging within the company.  Or two the employee will self identify that it is time to move on.  Using self-identification tools helps shift the burden from the employer and instead provides the employee an opportunity to take responsibility and initiative on a new path.

Given the biggest fear of employees in leaving a company is monetary there is a win-win solution.  The company transitions an employee out with an agreed upon exit plan/contract.  In the short and long-term it saves the company money by eliminating unproductive activity and expedites training, saving on training costs if a new employee will be transitioning in, eliminating any loss in production.

What does an exit plan/contract look like?  More on that later this week.