On how you treat those who choose to leave.
Treading carefully with this networking pro-tip here…’cause all I really want to do is to blow my head off with profanities, as yes, I’m rather peeved and yes, I’m holding my maturity together at this very moment as I do realize that endless F-bombs are NOT an effective way to get my point across.
Here’s my little networking pro-tip reminder:
How you embrace people as they leave an entity is as important (or perhaps even more so) than what they experienced when you welcomed them in.
While I have a particular scenario in mind (which I’m not going into detail to discuss), this guidance applies IMHO whatever organizational form the “entity” takes (company, non-profit, volunteer, club, private community, committee etc.). You invite people to join your entity in some capacity, ensure their departure for whatever reason (ok, exceptions for treason or handcuffs) is well, up to the standard for which they joined. When I was in an alumni relations role for a global law firm, I used to remind people that unless someone left the firm in an orange jumpsuit, to be gracious to the professionally departed as careers (much like memories) are long.
The bottomline. A shitty exit experience erases any optimistic residue from the on-boarding and all the enthusiastic goodwill in-between.