What to Do When an Employee Gives Notice
As an employer, one of the most challenging things to deal with is when an employee quits. It is an unpleasant fact that when you have employees, some of them – sometimes even the best of them – will give notice for any number of reasons. People’s lives take them in different directions. Maybe they must move because of a spouse’s job relocation, or they might have received a more appealing offer that they could not refuse. Regardless of the countless reasons an employee could have to leave your company, having a conversation where an employee tells you that he or she is leaving can be awkward, at best. Having a process in place to address the issue will make the transition as smooth as possible.
Tips for managing an employee termination
Whether this is the first time an employee has quit or not, we recommend these tips to ensure a less unpleasant experience:
- Do not get defensive or take the resignation personally. Now that you know that this employee will be leaving the organization, your goal should be to make the process as professional and uneventful as possible.
- Remain positive and resist any urge to become confrontational, or express any extreme emotion. Be professional and polite even if you must restrain yourself to do so.
- Be sure to congratulate the employee if he or she is moving on to a new position, express your sincere regret to be losing a valued team member, and inform him or her of the next steps in the process. You should let them know whether there will be a counter-offer, what their last day will be, details about the exit interview, and discuss how the news will be shared with the rest of the team.
Employee turnover is a natural part of the business world. An article in Entrepreneur Magazine suggests that when an employee quits, it is a great opportunity to turn what could be a negative situation into a positive one. You can take the opportunity to make organizational changes, explore outsourcing, or hire someone with more skill and experience.
Checklist for a successful employee exit
- Remain calm, be graceful, and act professionally regardless of their reason for resigning
- Request a letter of resignation so that all parties can be clear on why the employee is leaving. This establishes a clear date of resignation, and helps avoid disputes later.
- Find out if there will be any issues that human resources may need to address regarding the employee’s resignation.
- Inform the team of the employee’s departure.
- Decide if you want the employee to work through their notice period, or to pay them in lieu of the notice period.
- Arrange for knowledge transfer and delegation of the employee’s tasks and responsibilities.
- If time permits, schedule training for the team member(s) who will take on key responsibilities.
- Decide whether and when to begin recruiting to replace the employee.
- Comply with Ohio final pay laws.
- Obtain company property such as badges, keys, phones, laptops, etc.
- Change passwords.
- Conduct an exit interview and collect any feedback offered on the employee’s time with the company, co-workers and work environment.
- Part on good terms. If appropriate, host a going-away event where the entire team can celebrate the departing employee and say goodbye. Thank them for their time with the company and wish them well in their new endeavors.
Final paychecks under Ohio law
It is important to observe final pay laws when an employee resigns, and it might also include unused vacation time and accrued paid time off in their final paycheck. Under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4113.15, an employee who resigns is entitled to receive his or her final paycheck on or before the next regularly scheduled pay date.
Make sure to follow the law as the employee leaves your organization
Throughout the entire process, which begins when an employee gives notice of his or her resignation, you should work closely with human resources to make sure that the way you handle an employee’s resignation complies with the law and with company policies. With a bit of forethought and planning, you can manage an employee leaving in a way that goes as smoothly and professionally as possible without creating an awkward interruption in the workflow, the morale of the other members of that employee’s team, and the organization.
Ideally, the departing employee feels good knowing that in their time with your organization they could make a valued contribution. Under circumstances that are less than ideal, such as when an employee resigns out of frustration, the conflict can be resolved so that the employee does not have to leave on bad terms.