What To Do When An Employee Resigns

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Varsha Pednekar
With over 6 years as a content contributor for various media houses and budding companies, Varsha has created a niche for herself with her well-researched pieces. She loves to write about current events, public policy, healthcare, finance, and many other genres. A trained artist and curator, she also dabbles in writing concept notes and creating profiles for upcoming local artists.

Employees are leaving their jobs at an alarming rate these days. But, turnover doesn’t always have to be bad news for HR leaders. 

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the national quit rate is at an all-time high of 3 percent. In such a volatile labor market, it is pivotal for HR personnel to manage employee resignations with utmost professionalism and care.

While some HR leaders may suggest that creating a positive work environment or giving attractive compensation to employees can make them stay at their current jobs longer, there is no data to back these claims. No matter your work environment or your positive employee relationships, employees resign for reasons that are beyond your company’s control. 

Whatever the reasons are for why employees resign, these are the recommended procedures for HR and employers to follow to handle an employee’s resignation with respect, professionalism, and grace.​ 

#1 Request For A Resignation Letter

If your employee has verbally communicated his or her intentions of leaving the company, you need to ask for their resignation in writing so you can add it to the employee’s personnel file.

A written resignation letter is proof that the employee initiated the termination and that it was not based on any disciplinary action taken against him or her. 

A basic resignation letter should include the employee’s intent to leave, the intent to serve their notice period, and the employee’s last day.

No state or federal laws dictate that an employee must serve their notice period before leaving, despite being stated in the company’s employee handbook. When an employee agrees to do so, it helps the exiting employee’s team members and HR with the transition period.

#2 Help Managers With The Recruitment Process

When an employee resigns, it can cause disruption in the team’s normal workflow. Speak to the managers to understand the impact the departure will have on the team. With clear communication between HR and the managers, you can prioritize the recruitment process for new hires based on the current team’s capacity and workload.   

The managers will also give HR a clearer picture if the departing employee needs to fulfill their notice period. If the manager deems the employee’s presence to have a negative impact on the team’s morale, then HR can recommend an earlier departure with the assurance that the employee will be paid for till the end of their notice period. 

If the exiting employee is the single source of knowledge for that particular role, then HR will need to coordinate with the teammates to ensure a full transfer of knowledge, document procedures, and teach remaining employees how to complete specific tasks till the next hire.

#3 Coordinate With The It Team

The IT department is responsible for keeping the company secure. When an employee exits the company, HR will need to communicate this to the IT team immediately so that they can schedule processes such as disabling passwords, removing accounts, collecting company assets (laptops, cell phones, thumb drives, etc), and make provisions for the replacement employees. 

In Conclusion

By handling employee resignations in a well-defined manner, HR can minimize the impact of the loss of the employee on the team’s workflow and work environment.  If you handle the process effectively, the exiting employee will leave the company knowing that he or she has contributed and added value during her time at the company. 

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