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When an Employee Resigns

When an employee resigns, it doesn’t have to be a mad scramble to begin the transition. Here are action items for when employees announce they’re leaving, compiled with the help of Cynthia Kazalia, employment specialist with Ohio-based New Directions Career Center.

A written resignation.

Have the employee submit a written resignation. In the document, be sure that the employee states that the resignation is voluntary. The departing employee should also identify his or her official end date. This avoids potential misunderstandings with unemployment, litigation or reference checks.

Organization’s needs.

Keep in mind  your company’s best interests when handling the resignation. For example, would it be beneficial to allow employees to leave before their full notice is up or will you need them to help train a new employee?

The transition.

Meet with the employee to identify priorities and what needs to be reassigned. You’ll want to be clear about due dates and who is qualified to handle the duties. Create a transitional plan that addresses short and long-term needs.

Communicating the exit.

You’ll need to announce the resignation to other staff members and any clients who will be impacted. Communicate early to avoid gossip or insecurity about the transition. Also, staff may be concerned about impact on their job, either through the workload or other staff changes. Reassure and provide information if possible.

Sensitive information.

Obtain passwords and sensitive information from the employee.

Exit interview.

Set up an exit interview with whomever needs to be involved. If your employees refuse to partake in an interview, have them sign a release that states that they were given the option.

Reassess the job.

Assess whether the resigning employee’s job can be restructured. Is the job needed? Should the job description be altered? Can the position be combined with another one? These are questions worth exploring.

Involve the staff.

Consider including your staff in the hiring process. Line worker and front line managers can provide valuable insight in the qualities needed and may even be able to recommend candidates. In the same way, the resigning employee can offer valuable insight.

Training plan.

Replacing a worker can cost a huge amount of money and time. A solid training plan sets the newcomer up for success while minimizing the costs and time of a transition.

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