This article highlights a great concept – the built in assumption that employees don’t necessarily leave forever and that we should build positive outs on departure:
“Setting the stage for positive “outs” and creating the possibility of happy returns requires redefining the relationship from the very beginning — setting different expectations during the hiring process. Today more than 25 percent of the working population goes through career transitions every year and half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first 120 days, according to research conducted by Talya N. Bauer of SHRM Foundation; clearly the “employee for life” model has run its course.
Rather than implying that you expect indefinite tenure and unconditional loyalty, ask for the employee’s full discretionary effort for the time they will be here. And rather than signaling that you will provide opportunities for life (something few hires actually trust anyway), make it clear that you are offering interesting and challenging work, coupled with fair arrangements, while it is available.”