Eventually, even the best companies have employees who resign. The reasons are often out of your control, but you can handle what happens next. Be patient, empathetic, and positive as you listen to their reasons. Next, if the employee informs you of his departure in person, immediately ask for a written letter that states his final date of employment. Here are five more things you must do when an employee quits.
1) Determine the end date
Yes, the resignation letter specifies a departure date, but you can decide if you want them to leave sooner. Sometimes there are circumstances when you’d rather not have certain employees continue working—perhaps you don’t trust him or he has a toxic presence. If that’s the case, continue to pay him through his requested end date, but make it clear that he doesn’t need to come in.
2) Notify co-workers and customers
Start by telling the employee’s department. Call a quick meeting, praise the former employee, and thank the team in advance for their cooperation taking on extra work. Let them know your plan for finding a replacement, so they know how long they’ll be burdened with additional duties. Make your message to the team calm and consistent so that rumors don’t start trickling around.
3) Minimize disruption to the team
There will surely be some level of disruption to the workflow, but try to contain it. If your employee is able to stick around those last two weeks, then he can help wrap up loose ends, pass along details about ongoing projects, and chat with co-workers about leaving so they’re not paralyzed with shock. If he deals with customers, have him inform them and make the introduction to his replacement.
4) Evaluate the need for a replacement
Make a comprehensive list of all his responsibilities and projects. Ask the departing employee if he has any suggestions naming a replacement. You might need to hire a temp ASAP or you might be able to simply redistribute tasks around the office. Find out what else he did or what little secrets he might know that need to be handed over to someone else. This might be as simple as watering the plants or knowing how to use the copier.
5) Consider why that person left
Some employees resign for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with you or your company, such as family obligations or they take a risk at a start-up. But if you see employees leaving for better pay, more opportunities for professional advancement, or a shorter commute, consider whether there are measures you could take to satisfy them. Perhaps you allow them to telecommute or improve your benefits package. Employee turnover can be a huge stressor on a company, so do what’s in your power to hold onto them.
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