Six Ways to Handle an Employee Resignation

It is natural for your employees to resign and move on. Therefore, there is no point in burning bridges. Rather, end things on a positive note, i.e., to part ways on good terms, regardless of your experience with the employee while they were working for your organisation.

Employee resignation can make you feel terrible, especially when you have not seen it coming and haven’t planned for in advance. However, it is a fact that your employees will decide to move on in their careers at a certain point.

Regardless of the kind of opportunities you provide them with, there comes a time when your employees will desire to explore other shores as well as test their knowledge and skills. Therefore, it is better to plan for this eventuality in advance so that you don’t have to start from ground zero every time an employee decides to leave the organisation.

So, there is no point in taking an employee resignation negatively, rather think about the positives and extend a helping hand to the employee transition smoothly into the next step in their careers. Here, in this blog, let us discuss the six ways in which you can handle the employee resignation process.

  1. Be gracious.

Being positive is probably the best way to handle employee resignation. The situation may force you to expect the worst and react accordingly, but you have the option to think otherwise. Being gracious would be the best way to end things on a positive note.

Besides, your current employees notice how you react or treat your outgoing employee. The way you handle the resignation will give your existing employee a picture of how they would be treated if they were to cross the threshold in the future.

And if you treat your outgoing employee badly or approach the whole situation negatively, you are sending out negative signals to your existing employees. It can affect the overall mood of the workplace.

Matching a negative situation with an aggressive attitude won’t make things positive. Besides, employees do have their right to a better life and career. Therefore, be grateful to an existing employee for their contribution to the company, and express genuine thanks for the time and effort they have put in their work. Even if you disliked the employee or found them to be low on performance and have a bad attitude, you still need to be gracious. In the end, the final goodbyes are what people remember the most.

  1. Offer assistance.

At this moment, offering assistance is perhaps the last thought occupying your mind, but offering an outgoing employee help or assisting them a comfortable transition will reflect your care and empathy for your employees. This act will also send out a good message to your existing employees.

If possible, try to go beyond your normal duties and responsibilities to help the resigning employee move on with their careers. From a pep talk to even giving suitable references, make sure you encourage them in their endeavours. Offer them a resignation letter format if required. After all, this gesture will resonate in a good word of mouth publicity for the company, as the resigning employee would certainly discuss their experiences with your company in their social circle, and a positive offer of assistance will truly resonate in their discussions.

The key lies in being empathetic with the resigning employee. While some employers help by offering a glowing reference for their future employment, others pay a salary advance without any obligations, which allows the employee to search for future job opportunities during the notice period with the company.

  1. Plan for this day, from the day they are hired

When an employee joins your company, do you think that they will stay forever? It is good to wish for something like that, but in reality, it is highly unlikely that your new hires or your existing employees will stay with you for longer spells of their career. They spend considerable time in your company, but eventually, they will want to make that move towards better prospects.

Therefore, when the moment arrives, you could at least make sure that the transition is less painful for the company by planning for this eventuality from the date of joining.

To begin with, it is always a better idea to ask your new hires to sign the non-compete agreement at the time of joining. If you want, you can also include additional information about what is expected from the employee and what is not, from the day the employee gives the resignation.

It is better to be open and transparent with the employees right from the word go. It is important as it helps to set the right expectations. Plus, keep two such employees in your team that know about doing each task in your company.

  1. Give due importance to communication and documentation.

Sometimes, it is better to know the reasons for the resignation and their transition plans. Also, try to learn if it was at all possible, beyond all the efforts that you have put, you could have still helped them reverse their decision.

Transparent communication helps you find the exact reasons for the resignation, and that the company might have done anything differently to reverse their decision. You could learn so many things from this information. Therefore, it should be properly documented so that you could implement the necessary changes to prevent your other employees from leaving the organisation for the same reason.

Most of the time, employees leave a company for better career opportunities offered to them by other competitor companies. This opportunity is nice for an employee, but for the employer, it becomes a challenge. Therefore, employers should put proper measures in place to ensure their seamless transition.

  1. Try to retain them.

Ideally, it is not recommended for a company to accept defeat right away, especially if they value this employee tremendously. A resignation may be a sign of dissent or something underlying that has been amiss from the eyes of the management, and that this resignation has brought it to the fore.

Therefore, first of all, acknowledge their decision, but don’t accept it as of yet, and express your displeasure. Then try to get to the root cause of the predicament and understand exactly what made them decide on this step. Are there some hidden issues that could be resolved or some kind of dissatisfaction that could be addressed? Try your best to resolve the issue and ask them to reverse their decision. Make the necessary changes required to keep your valued employees from leaving the organisation.

It will be worth the effort because, if the employee goes, then it will become very difficult for you to find a suitable replacement. After all, it is not always about the work, but so much more than that which connects an employer with the employee.

  1. Take their help in training their replacement.

It is normal when an employee chooses to move on after spending considerable time with the company. We all seek better opportunities in life and career, after all. Therefore, once you come to know about the resignation of one of your employees, it is time to ensure that their duties and responsibilities are covered by a different employee at the earliest so that you could resume your normal operations without any disruptions.

Also, a resignation doesn’t mean that you will burn all bridges between you and the employee. Rather, while you help them out with a seamless transition in their careers, you could also ask them to train and help their replacements with the handover. It ensures that the handover is less disruptive for the company.

It is natural for your employees to resign and move on after being associated with your company for a certain period. Therefore, there is no point in breaking bridges with the employee. Rather, make it a point to end things on a positive note, i.e., to part ways on good terms, regardless of your experience with the employee while they were working for your organisation. The final communication is what matters and make sure you make the most of it.

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One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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