Employees choose to resign from their jobs for different reasons. This could be due to the emergence of a better opportunity elsewhere, or simply dissatisfaction with their current jobs. The departure of an employee usually brings about disruption in the flow of work. In addition, it might mean additional costs for recruiting and training a replacement. However, as a manager, the resignation of an employee should not catch you flat-footed.
Here are some things you should do when an employee decides to leave:
1. Take it gracefully
The resignation of an employee is likely to leave you worrying about how you will find a replacement or complete unfinished projects. However, avoid venting your frustrations on the departing employee. Getting worked up or trying to make them feel guilty for their decision is not professional or appropriate. Rather, appreciate their contribution to your company and wish them well. This will help you maintain a good rapport with the employee that is leaving.
2. Discuss logistics immediately
Ask the employee when exactly they will be leaving and find out how much work they can complete in the remaining time. You should also ask them how and when they would like to announce their departure to their co-workers. Make sure this announcement is made early enough to allow for transition planning. However, if the employee seems bitter, it would be advisable to make the announcement yourself.
3. Don’t make a counter-offer
When an employee decides to resign, avoid the temptation of making a counter-offer. Many managers do this out of the fear of losing a valued employee or interrupting ongoing projects. However, making a counter-offer can end up working against you in the long run. When you lure them back with money, you might only end up retaining a disgruntled employee. Such an employee will be difficult to manage and might only end up disrupting the productivity of the entire team. And eventually, they will still leave anyway. So it would be advisable to let them go the first time they hand in their resignation.
4. Develop a transition plan
Have a discussion with your employee and find out which projects they are currently working on. From this information, agree with them concerning what they should complete before leaving. Create a clear to-do list for employee, which should include notifying contacts of his departure, as well as transferring key information to their successor. Monitor their progress during the last few weeks to ensure that everything is left in order. Think about how the remaining tasks will be handled before someone else is hired.
5. Start looking for a replacement
When looking for a replacement, don’t merely copy-paste the same job description you used to recruit your former employee. Instead, re-evaluate the role and how it may have evolved over time. The job description should be based on your current needs. Once this is done, you can now embark on the process of recruitment. It would be advisable to start this process long before the employee leaves the organization.
When an employee decides to leave, be sure to find out their reasons. This will show if there are any issues that need to be dealt with, to avoid a trend in employee resignations.
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