What is Exit Management from an SME point of view?

Exit_managementEmployees leave - eventually, or sooner than expected.   This can be for a number of different reasons: resigning to move to another employer, end of contract, retirement – or many others.  Whatever the reason, Business Owners need a clear Employee Exit Policy and Process.  This is not simply professional HR Management – it is also one of many measures taken to protect a Company’s assets, Clients, Intellectual Property, as well as guarding against legal action in the event of the process not being correctly handled.

But it’s not all compliance and procedure.  There can also be invaluable learning in hearing why the Employee is leaving, and ensuring any aspects of the role or the company’s work practices or culture that should be changed - before a replacement is promoted or hired – are changed.  A 2017 article in Huffington Post cites the difference between retaining a sales person for three instead of two years ‘along with better onboardiing and management practices’ means a difference of $1.3 million in net value over three years.


An exiting employee is a fantastic learning opportunity for employers. It is also a good time to resolve any potential issues that might be clouding an exit.



What are the main steps when an employee leaves?

From receipt of resignation letters to checking required notice periods and all other matters that the intended exit impact, there is a lot to do.  Good Exit Management Practice is how this all gets done to the necessary standards, including:

  • Establishing nature of Employment Contract etc

  • Are immediate steps needed to ensure assets, equipment, confidentiality and security are addressed

  • Learning from a thorough Exit Interview

  • Adjusting process for non-return following Maternity Leave

  • Ensuring all entitlements and legal requirements are met

  • Where required, limiting IT access and planning cut-off

  • Completing all payroll and any pensions action