When an Employee Resigns

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Even if you run a good company and treat your employees fairly, there comes a time when an employee hands in a resignation.  The reasons they resign could be one of many.  They could have an offer from out of state, their spouse’s job could be causing relocation, or they need to move closer to family.  So what is the proper way to handle a resignation?


When the employee informs you they are resigning, the first thing you tell them is that you need a written letter of resignation.  It should have the final date they are going to be working for you listed on it.  This is for protection in case unemployment claims are filed.  If the employee is a good and trusted employee and they want to work their final two weeks, let them.  They can help make the transition easier by training their replacement.  They can provide details on outstanding projects and introduce the new person to customer contacts, if needed.


When do you let the other employees know of the impending departure of the employee?  You can let the other employees know as soon as possible, starting with the department the employee works in.  You will need to tell them when the date becomes effective. The other employees may have questions about when the new replacement, if there is one, will be starting and about how to divide the work load up until that happens.  Most employees won’t mind the extra work if they know there is an end in sight.


If the employee is a valued one, you may want to send an email to the other employees announcing the departure date.  You can say that the employee is leaving to pursue other opportunities and you wish them the best of luck.  If possible, you can suggest a going away party and when and where it will be held.  This allows closure with the employee’s fellow employees plus allows you to come across as gracious and appreciative.


If the employee is resigning on unfavorable terms, then you can tell them you’ll pay severance but that you do not want a two week notice or have them working for two weeks.  If you do, then you’ll have a surly employee that will cause distention.  You just want them gone.  Try to figure out then why you hired them in the first place and try to avoid doing the same thing in the future.


What about an exit interview, is it necessary?  An exit interview should be done.  You can learn a lot from an interview of this type. You can ask the employee what your organization is doing well at and where improvements need to be made.  Because the employee is leaving, they will tend to be more frank with you which can help you improve the working relationships you have with the remaining employees.  You can explain to the departing employee that their answers will help your business to improve and retain valued employees.


If you follow these few simple steps, then having an employee resign should not cause much disruption in your workplace and things should get back to normal quickly.

How do you handle employee resignations?


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article posted by Infini Kimbrough

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