How To Ensure A Smooth Employee Resignation

Properly Handling Employee Resignation 

The day-to-day business of running a company comes with many ups and downs and the surprise resignation of a key employee can be an overwhelming and daunting low point. Fortunately, steps have been developed by HR practitioners that are designed to create a more seamless exit strategy for both the employee and employer.  

Tackling the logistics is a great place to start, whether this includes disabling his or her company accounts, contacting payroll, or getting the necessary resignation paperwork signed. Jim Jackson, director of human resources for inSeption Group, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company based in Lansdale, PA, says HR professionals need to make sure they understand the specific employment laws in their state since these often effect how employees need to be offboarded. Contrary to popular belief, there is no official notice period an employee must give their employer, but there are ways that companies can create incentives for longer notice periods. For example, in Ohio there is a policy that allows a company to payout accrued but unused PTO if the employee gives two weeks’ notice.  

A great next step is discussing a succession plan with the employee’s manager, ideally this should be done well in advance of an employee departure. It’s important to discuss how the work covered by that employee’s role will continue until a replacement is found. Evaluate if the job description needs an update, if the company’s budget for this position is still appropriate, and if any reorganization of the team needs to be done. “Every departure can be viewed as a chance to rethink how things have always been done and potentially pursue a more effective arrangement.” (Rockwood)  

Finally, schedule an exit interview with the departing employee. This is your chance to gather feedback about why they have decided to leave the company. Ask questions that allow the you to gain insight into the aspects of their time with the company they enjoyed and which they felt could have been better. The information gathered through the exit interview process should be reviewed on a regular basis to identify any common threads including areas that could be touted as reasons someone would want to work for the company, and those that are areas for improvement.  

Even with a smooth departure, employee resignation can be tough on both the employee and the employer. For the employer, it can lead to a temporary lack of hands around the office, which results in work overload. In other words, hiring becomes a top priority. Decision Associates works with clients to create a smooth succession process that results in the recruitment and hiring of a new professional who will continue to lead with success. Our proven, proprietary process yields succession strategy for key roles that will create a more secure future for your company. Decision Associates has nearly 40 years of experience with succession planning and ownership transfers, including business owner succession, management succession, and exit planning. Talk to one of our consults today! 

Resources: Rockwood, Kate. “What To Do When An Employee Resigns.” HR Magazine, 2022.