Getting good at goodbyes

Over 1000 listeners attended my McKnight’s Fall Online Expo webinar, “Letting them go with style,” which focused on ways to use the loss of employees to strengthen your organization. McKnight’s editor Jim Berklan moderated the event and shared his thoughts about the webinar in his Daily Editor’s Notes column today. I’m gratified to hear that the talk helped participants consider aspects of staff departures in a way they hadn’t previously considered. (Thank you, Jim, for your kind review!)

You can hear the replay of the webinar (archived for a year) at: Expo Registration

Getting good at goodbyes

It’s fairly likely that one or more of your employees will be leaving soon. That’s why you need to read this. It will make your organization healthier, and in ways you might have never imagined.

The goodbye guru would have it no other way.

I typed that name generically — with lowercase g’s — but I just as easily could have written Goodbye Guru. Then I would be referring to a specific person, namely Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D.

You might know her better as “Dr. El,” as in “The World According to Dr. El,” the award-winning blog that appears twice monthly on this website.

Regardless, she is an eloquent font of knowledge about what makes humans tick, and tock. Wednesday, we had a unique opportunity to hear her address a slightly off-kilter question: How should providers deal with an employee’s departure to create the best circumstances for their long-term care community?

I say “off-kilter” because the most common inference about a webinar named “Letting them go with style” would be that it’s about dying residents. Instead, Barbera fascinated listeners at McKnight’s Fall Online Expo with approaches and implications for dealing with departing employees.

Whether by firing, lay-off, resignation or for other reasons, employees leave long-term care operators often. And the emotional and psychological well-being of whoever remains is typically the worse for it — and usually to an unnecessary degree — Barbera pointed out.

It doesn’t have to be that way. She urged everyone to consider the multiple layers of messages any departure makes. This could mean saddened and suddenly insecure residents (“Who will take care of me?” “Didn’t she like me enough to say goodbye?”) to unnerved or perturbed staff members, to disgruntled or dangerous former employees.

All of which make for an unstable environment. Thus, more care should be taken with departing employees, Barbera emphasized. She illustrated numerous scenarios involving employee terminations, pointing out how providers can handle them better.

For the rest of Jim Berklan’s article, visit:

Getting good at goodbyes


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