These days, you can’t go anywhere without hearing about the “Great Resignation,” that is, the so-called mass exodus of workers from their current jobs. As an employer, sooner or later one of your workers is going to move on from the company, and whether they’re giving you their two-week notice or leaving that same day, losing a worker can have negative effects on your business if not handled correctly.
So what should you do when your worker decides to resign?
What to do when an employee quits
Start by taking the news in a calm and professional manner. Becoming angry or guilt-tripping the employee will likely make things worse for both parties. So relax, put any negative feelings aside, and then consider following these next three steps:
1. Evaluate the situation and discuss logistics
Begin by calmly exploring why the employee has made the decision to leave. Are they resigning for a better opportunity or is their departure due to another reason? If the employee is integral, is there a way to keep them from leaving? It’s usually much more cost-effective to retain an employee than find another one. In fact, a recent study by Builtin found that it can cost on average $1,500 to replace an hourly employee and the equivalent of 1.5-2x the pay for a salaried employee. And the mental toll of replacing a valued employee is immeasurable. If there is no way to retain them, then move on to the logistics of the employee’s departure. Find out when they are planning on leaving, schedule their final paycheck, and determine how the resignation should be announced to the rest of your staff.
2. Plan for the transition
You may be losing the employee, but their workload isn’t going anywhere, so try to make their absence as easy as possible on the rest of your team by developing a solid transition plan.
Sit down with the departing employee and discuss what loose ends will need to be tied up before he/she can leave and what tasks need to be transferred to someone else. Develop a list of final “to-dos” and make sure that the worker understands what you expect of them over the next two (or however many) weeks. You should also coordinate a knowledge transfer so that the employee doesn’t walk out the door with information that no one else has.
3. Find a replacement
We know that this is easier said than done. Determine whether you want an outside hire or will be promoting from within. If you decide to look for someone new, think about the urgency of the hire. Is the position one that needs to be filled immediately? If so, consider contacting a local staffing company to help you find a temporary employee. Using a temporary employee between permanent hires is a great way to keep your company successful during times of transition. You may even want to go a step further and hand the entire hiring process over to your staffing company. They’ll recruit, screen, and pre-qualify candidates so you don’t have to.
Losing an employee can be difficult, but having a plan for how you deal with that type of news will ensure that your company stays efficient and professional throughout the entire process.
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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should first consult their attorney, accountant or adviser before acting upon any information in this article.