Weeknotes 35

Good farewells and sunny days

This blog is a bit late and not about last week but the one before it.

What I did

Most of my week was:

  • Writing up the organisational strategy. It’s a month late because of the pressures of the podcast project and unexpected hiring and offboarding of staff.
  • Checking scripts for the podcast which after the news of the week before had an extremely short deadline for completion before recording in the first days of April.
  • Calls with new and existing funders.
  • Mentoring and management check-ins with staff.
  • Deep-diving into liability insurance.
  • Offboarding staff.
  • A farewell party for Flora, Raana and Anna!

Offboarding.
I had asked her to write up an exit feedback document that I could share with the Operations team and Trustees. She came back with 3 pages of really detailed analysis of how the onboarding, role and leadership support was to her. She analysed what being part of the organisations told her about her own areas of strength and places to grow, as well as reflections on Chayn. She was very complimentary of the organisation, staff and leadership. I sent it to our Trustees. To quote one of them:

Very very interesting and probably one of the most detailed exit feedback notes I’ve ever read! Lots of food for thought in there — a proper example of very good exit feedback actually.

I had a few days to reflect on the written feedback before the exit interview. I didn’t really have time to prepare for the exit interview because of a packed week of back to back calls but I did have 10 mins so I did the back-of-the-tissue-paper (my version of back of the envelope) jot down how I wanted the call to go. Ideally, I would have sent this in advance to her but I had spoken to her the day before and we had discussed what the call would be broadly about so she was prepared. We did the following:

  • What was your experience of the organisation, peers, management and the role?
  • Leadership and peer reacts to feedback
  • Leadership and peer feedback back to the employee about their style of working, skills, experience, progression in the role and room for growth
  • Employee reacts to Leadership and peer feedback
  • We discuss ways the employee can or wants to remain involved after they leave

I really enjoyed the chat with her, and she did too. I reflect more on the importance of this shared experience. In fact, it went so well, I repeated the process the week after for another employee.

What I learned

  • Offboardings are important, both for the employee and the organisation. In every organisation I’ve left, I have remained involved in one way or the other. Whether it is through long-term mentoring of my replacements or still spreading news of the organisation by remaining part of the community. We’ve only started employing staff recently so I’ve not had the chance to properly write up and implement an offboarding process. Kim and Nooreen are on it though! Withing the exit interview, the employee said she had never had one like this where there was so much positive feedback and energy. And that was so nice to hear. Afterwards, Kim sent me this. It really made my day and I talked about it with my leadership coach too.
  • No matter how confident and self-assured I am, hearing compliments really does add a spring in my step. It’s nice to know others think you’re doing a good job. I should think about each compliment as a flower. I need to collect and cherish each one for my bouquet of dreams!

Something else

I visited London this weekend for a family gathering. It was a quick one day trip. A one-day trip I’ve taken hundreds of times before. The difference this time was that it was the first time I had done that since my last one in March 2020, just before the Covid-19 lockdowns. It was so strange to catch the same train I used to catch, and just reflect on all that has changed in these two years.

But traditions reign supreme.

But just like traditions reign supreme, new adventures open the heart and mind. So I went to this restaurant that has been capturing everyone on Instagram. So beautiful.

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Building communities. Feminist. Pakistani. Founder @chaynHQ & CEO fighting gender-based violence with tech. Championing openness. Forbes & MIT Under 30/35.

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Hera Hussain

Hera Hussain

Building communities. Feminist. Pakistani. Founder @chaynHQ & CEO fighting gender-based violence with tech. Championing openness. Forbes & MIT Under 30/35.

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