The truth is that some employee turnover is unavoidable, despite your best attempts to keep them. Nobody will work for your company forever. Employees leave companies for a variety of reasons. It could be a result of the employers or managers, a lack of advancement, or a sense of undervaluation. Or it doesn’t even have to be something bad. Simply put, your employee might feel that it’s time to move on to a different phase of their lives, one that doesn’t involve working for your business.
It’s crucial for an employer or their HR manager to take specific actions to guarantee a smooth transition when an employee resigns from their position. Keep this checklist close at hand for the next time one of your employees leaves.
An employer’s checklist for exiting employees
What crosses your mind when an employee says they want to leave? There are several possibilities. You can be considering either wanting them to remain or getting ready to replace them.
If the employee gives sufficient notice of their intention to leave, plan to complete the following within the last week of work:
1. Obtain a resignation letter and fulfill your legal requirements.
In order to prevent an employee from claiming they were fired, employers must keep a copy of the resignation letter on file. This could be a brief written confirmation of the employee’s leaving that is dated and signed by them.
In addition, business owners or their HR managers must record the items that the departing employee will take with them, such as their final paycheck and statement-of-benefits packet. This covers COBRA, benefit expiration dates and payouts, unemployment eligibility, and other pertinent paperwork.
There are many deadlines for a worker’s final paycheck, which vary by state. In California, for example, you are required to deliver a departing employee their final payment (including all accrued wages) within 72 hours of their resignation without cause, or on their last day if they offer adequate notice.
2. Create a plan to change the employee’s duties.
The dynamics of the workplace may change as a result of one employee leaving because it may have an impact on the entire firm. To decide who will handle that person’s job obligations, consult the employee’s direct supervisor, coworkers, and employees (if relevant).
Many business owners or managers decide to temporarily switch jobs until they hire a replacement, while others make changes that are permanent by giving an existing employee a promotion or changing their title and responsibilities.
3. Carryout an exit interview with the employee
When an employee leaves, conducting an exit interview can provide you with insightful information. For instance, if the departing employee stated that they left the company due to a toxic work environment, they may do so now that they are no longer employed by the company. Managers can use this to better understand their company culture and make any required adjustments to keep their current workforce.
During an exit interview, consider asking the following questions:
- What was your overall experience with the company?
- How might we improve the company for future employees?
- What are your reasons for leaving?
- What did you like most about the company and your job?
- What could we have done differently to improve your experience?
- What was your relationship like with your manager?
- Were your goals and expectations met? If not, how might we have supported you better?
- Plan IT access limitations and collect any corporate property on the final day of employment.Collect any business property and disable an employee’s access to company software and logins on their last day. You must gather both tangible and intangible items, as follows:
- Email accounts.
- Company software.
- Company laptop/phone.
- Office keycard.
- Client information.
- Company credit cards.
5. Make an announcement of the employee’s departure.
In addition to the direct team, other significant individuals, such as clients, customers, and vendors, may need to be informed of the employee’s departure and who will be taking over their tasks.
Pay close attention to how you announce the employee’s resignation. Even if the employee isn’t departing on the best of terms, don’t divulge any private information; instead, only discuss what the employee feels comfortable disclosing. Also, be respectful when relaying the news. You can deliver this information in a brief meeting, an email to the entire organization, or both, but be sure to timing it properly. For instance, before you inform the rest of the firm, you’ll want to let your departing employee’s direct team know.
After breaking the news, talk with your team about how you’ll move forward without this employee, communicating any changes to the employee’s responsibilities and when you plan to hire a replacement (if applicable).
What if an employee quits abruptly?
You might not have enough time if an employee leaves abruptly and without notice to finish all of the aforementioned tasks before their last day. In this situation, it is advised to complete as many of the tasks on this checklist as quickly as possible. It might be a good idea to speak with an HR or legal professional to learn your alternatives if you’re worried about gathering items like a resignation letter and corporate property.