Exit Strategies are Not (Always) Bad

Exit strategies are not (always) bad
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    Strategies within the workplace can be challenging and oftentimes take a considerable amount of planning from the organization, your leadership team, and your employees. There are daily strategies that must be taken into account, depending on the nature of the work and then there are goals that must be strategized over time. Workplaces often take employ common strategies such as those requiring regular communication, performance management, and how to handle customer feedback. These are just to name a few.

    Exit Strategies

    An additional strategy that organizations often employ is known as an exit strategy. Though the name of it appears to be a pessimistic one, it is not all bad. In some instances, it can go awry, and chaos can ensue. But that is never the goal of an exit strategy, especially when they must be implemented. 

    Exit strategies can be put into place for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes, it is due to the fact than employee is removing themselves from the face of the company or perhaps leaving altogether for another gig. Regardless of the reason, it is critical that an exit strategy be implemented far in advance to ensure that this is effortless, efficient, and smooth for both the organization as well as whoever is departing.

    Though, you may be wondering what an exit strategy entails and why is it relevant to your organization. It is actually a critical component of your organization. To say it is necessary to have one is putting it lightly.

    In the workplace, an exit strategy often refers to a strategy that an employer has in place to handle an employee’s departure from the team and the organization. This outlines just how your soon-to-be former employee will depart from your organization and what they will be allowed to take with them. 

    The exit strategy will assist them in transitioning out of their current role and ensure that they hand over the necessary components to their successor. An exit strategy is a step-by-step guide of what has to be done by both your employee and your organization to ensure a smooth, worry-free departure on both ends of the deal.

    An exit strategy for employees can involve providing their employer and organization with the required notice before choosing to depart. Additionally, they will likely need to finish any and all necessary projects and ensure that all the necessary documentation is passed on for the next person who will taking their place within the organization. There many even need to be specific information to pass on, such as passwords, pin codes, or even an instruction manual for how to access documents.

    An exit strategy for employers (and the organization) may appear different. This means to execute a plan of departure for key employees. This will help in identifying successors for the role, as well as ensuring that the next successor (or successors) have all the necessary knowledge and skills to minimize the number of disruptions for those in the current work environment. Additionally, this will ensure a transfer of knowledge, skills, and any pertinent information regarding the day-to-day business operations is passed on the correct person(s) who will be taking the place of the departed.

    For an organization, it is crucial to have an exit strategy in place to help minimize the level of chaos that could occur and ensure that the departure is handled in a professional, smooth manner from start to finish. This will reduce the chance of having any negative impact on the employer, the organization, or the employee who has decided to leave.


    Exit strategies have a wide range of benefits for both the organization and the departing individual. They offer smooth transitions. By having a secured strategy in place as brought forth by the organization, there will be a smooth and seamless transition whenever someone chooses to leave. This will cut down on commotion throughout the work environment and leave minimal effect on everyone else’s workflow. Productivity will not suffer from negativities.

    As an employee removes themselves from an organization, they remove valuable knowledge and expertise. With an exit strategy in place, this knowledge is transferred to other (current) employers and documented for future use. This serves as an aid to preserve institutional knowledge. In addition to this, an exit strategy can ensure that any secrets that have been disclosed to the current departing employee does not leak to other organizations, the press, or customers after their departure.

    The development of an exit strategy can identify potential successors within the organization. This is known as succession planning and development. This will assist other employees in filling critical roles in a quick, efficient manner which ensures that the organization is prepared for any sudden departures. This will reduce the impact on business operations.

    Finally, handling employee departures in a professional and respectful manner can add to the positivity of your brand. This will serve as a fundamental way to attract new, top talent as it becomes available and ensure that your organization retains that top talent over time. This will give your organization a phenomenal boost with the organization’s reputation throughout the industry.

    Having an exit strategy in place is not just beneficial to helping organizations such as yours to handle a departure in an efficient manner. It can also prove to be beneficial to employees who choose to depart, as well.

    When an employee chooses to leave an organization, a well-planned and executed exit strategy can help ensure they are treated with the utmost respect and professionalism. In turn, this can preserve the employee’s professional and personal reputation, as well as preserve their professional relationships they have made during their career. It can also ensure that a smooth transition is in place. This will allow all loose ends to be tied up, without causing a problem for the employee or the organization.

    Having an exit strategy can open the door to new opportunities for the departing employee. This will help them network with colleagues and take their relationships with them on to the new job. It also serves as a way to maintain positive relationships with the organization and those within it. This can be favorable for forthcoming job openings or partnerships. A well-managed exit strategy can help ensure that the employee leaves the organization on good terms. This can lead to a positive reference for future job opportunities.

    Finally, depending on the policies set forth by the organization, there may be benefits offered to the departing employee. This is often known as a severance package. It can include pay, unused vacation, sick time, and a continuation of health insurance during the transaction to a new work environment.

    Closing Thoughts

    In conclusion, exit strategies are not always bad even though they might have a bad reputation due to the name. They are beneficial to the departing employee as well as the organization that has implemented them. Perhaps organizations should consider changing the name of them to something more positive such as a transition plan. This puts emphasis on the idea that an exit is not just simply occurring; a transition is, too.

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