What to Do When an Employee Quits
No matter the reason, it’s always challenging when an employee chooses to leave your business. While there is no universal way to prepare for the shock of losing one of the best members of your staff, here are a few ways that you can minimize the impact and move forward in a proactive manner.
Address the Situation
When an employee turns in their two-week notice, your first course of action should be to congratulate them. In keeping with your company’s culture, remain positive. Let them know that you will miss them and their energy but that you also understand that they must do what is best for their career.
These situations always sting a little bit more when the employee is moving on to work for a similar company. As tempting as it may be to ask what prompted them to accept an offer from another employer, this topic is perhaps better suited to the exit interview; in the moment that your employee hands in their two-week notice, you should focus the conversation on their achievement.
Of course, it’s natural to feel sad or frustrated in this situation. In fact, you may find yourself doubting your success as a leader or wondering what you could have done to make the employee want to stay. Acknowledging these feelings and being honest with the rest of your team is perfectly acceptable—and necessary—if you want your staff to move forward with you.
Handle the Logistics
The first thing you’ll want to do after accepting the employee’s notice is get the ball rolling on your company’s recruitment process. The sooner you can fill the employee’s spot, the better—if you’re lucky, you may even be able to hire a replacement employee before the current employee leaves, meaning your current employee can onboard the new hire.
You’ll also need to inform the employee of their next steps. Since an employee’s exit process will vary from business to business, their next steps are up to you. However, planning an exit interview, detailing the employee’s responsibilities for the coming two weeks, and explaining to them what they need to do to wrap up their employment with HR are all good places to start.
You might also plan a going-away party or a round of drinks at the local watering hole if it meshes with your company culture. You’re likely to have a few employees on staff who have a tough time handling the transition as well—providing a safe space for them to come and talk to you during this process will further cement your relationship with them, making forward progress that much easier.
Most importantly, however, you will need to come up with a plan for your company’s next steps. The best way to do so is by holding a conference with your existing employees and going over the company’s goals. Once you’ve covered the essentials, task everyone with contributing some ideas about how to proceed. Ideally, you’ll have the employee’s position filled before they leave, but you have to plan for the worst.
Just because you’re planning for the worst doesn’t mean that you need to treat the situation like a crisis. Maintaining your positivity in this trying situation is crucial to ensuring that your employees keep it together, which will help you focus on the company’s momentum rather than the things holding it back. As mentioned earlier, you’re perfectly justified in being honest with your employees about how you feel; just don’t let it impact your work.
The way you handle this situation will set the precedent for how your staff react when it happens again (because, of course, it will). If you maintain the mindset that the earth will continue spinning and your company will continue to improve, chances are that it will.
See Also: Compensation of Terminated Employees
At Abacus Payroll, we understand how hard it can be to lose an employee—we want to help make sure that the process isn’t any harder than it has to be. For more information, call us at (856) 667-6225 today!