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Keep Options Open For Valuable Employees

When members of your team voluntarily leave their jobs to go to other companies or try their wings in business, they sometimes find that the grass isn’t greener after all.

When that happens, they may wish they never left their old jobs. But, returning hat-in-hand to ask you to take them back often triggers a fear of rejection so they don’t bother.

On the Way Out

    Exit interviews can deliver important inside information about your company. They can be performed face-to-face or in the form of a written questionnaire. You can use the responses to spot trends or identify management weaknesses.

However, that doesn’t happen to the employees of one builder who developed his own way to leave the door open to valuable employees who decide to leave. During exit interviews, the builder takes the time to let them know that if things don’t work out, they can return without any loss of seniority, pay, or benefits.

Of course, this is done on a selective basis. Only employees with proven records of productivity and dependability are given invitations to come back. Like any employer, you know that the departure of some workers is a blessing rather than a loss.

If you decide to try this strategy, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  •  Such a policy should be an informal verbal understanding rather than a written policy.
  •  A reasonable time limit should be set for the offer. This varies depending on relevant factors such as the current job market and the nature of the employee’s old job. Typically, a month or two up to a maximum of six months works well.
  •  This offer should only be extended to exceptional employees who have good working relationships with other people in the company.

When employees leave your company and then realize that it was a mistake, everyone loses. You can wind up searching for people with their skills while they stay in jobs they don’t want or look for employment at new companies.

While an “open-door” policy probably won’t solve all of your employee turnover problems, the experience of at least one construction company suggests that it may be worth a try.

Hoffman Stewart & Schmidt, P.C. provides the information in this newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

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