Exiting is the inverse of Onboarding. Instead of uploading information, now you are downloading it. As people leave, you want to retain their wisdom for the benefit of the agency. And you want the person leaving to be a positive brand ambassador for your agency.

System Improvements

The most common reason a top performer leaves is "there just wasn't room for me to grow". Sometimes this is legit and there's nothing to be done. It's the nature of organizations. But sometimes it's a culture problem or a manager problem or a team problem.

Design an exit questionnaire. It should be mostly open-ended questions. You're not going to get the volume of responses that would make multiple-choice questions valuable. Use the concepts we've discussed so far like Home, Edge, and Groove, or The Six Arenas, to generate questions.

After a person answers the questionnaire, hold an exit interview to discuss their answers and add more context. Use this insight to improve your Growth Culture.

Have the exiting team member update their role description. If they could rebuild the role from the ground up, how might they do it? If they're leaving, some aspects of the role are probably full of friction or misaligned to reality. This is your chance to fix that.

Your Alumni Network

We encourage you to maintain a formal alumni network. It can be a simple facebook page or LinkedIn group or even a mailing list. But create some way to maintain communications with those who left on good terms. Provide honest support for their next step.

The benefits of an alumni network are many:

  • New talent: You can mention job postings to your alumni and have them filter and find potential new hires. It cuts your search time and you get more vetted applicants.
  • New clients: You never know when someone might have the right conversation with the right person at the right time. Make it easy for your alumni to pass leads along.
  • New ideas: Find ways for them to bring new tools, trends, and ways of working to your attention.
  • New intel: Maintain a regular dialog with alumni to keep your fingers on the pulse of the industry.

Your agency is a conduit for talent. People will come and go. Some will stay longer than others. But every person who leaves becomes a brand ambassador for your agency. How will they speak about your agency to others? What story would you like them to tell? Write that story, and let it be the culture you create.