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"I quit!" The dos and don'ts of employee resignations

by , 03 August 2015
It's that time of month.... Employees resign and move on to what they hope are greener pastures. And that's great for them... But you need to take action to make sure their departures are as smooth as possible. This way you can avoid any disruptions to your operations and other employees.

Let's have a quick look at what you must, and mustn't, do when it comes to resignations...

10 Points you must cover when an employee resigns

Get his resignation in writing, which must include the date of his resignation. This'll help avoid disputes over the exact date of the resignation and the start of the notice period.

 Decide if you want the employee to work his full notice period or if there are some risks involved. For example, confidentiality issues. In this case you might let the employee leave immediately but pay in lieu of him working out the notice period.

 Ensure a smooth handover of key tasks and responsibilities. Make sure the employee draws up a list showing his daily, weekly and monthly tasks. 

 Make sure the employee returns all company property. This includes any access tags, tools, uniforms, computers etc.

 Make his final payment of benefits as soon as possible.
 Have an exit interview so he can share his successes and concerns with you. Use exit interview feedback to:
  • Prevent future resignations by implementing some of the suggestions departing employees make;
  • Provide the employee taking over the job with as much as possible on what the employee was working on; and/or 
  • Revisit confidentiality agreements and ensure leaving employees stick to them.
 Clarify what projects he's still working on and their status. This will form part of the handover document.

 Make sure there's a proper handover of his current projects to his replacement. 

 Plan the employee's last day so you cover the following: 
  • A farewell function, if you're going to have one;
  • A handover of all company assets; and
  • Give the employee the chance to say goodbye to colleagues, mentors and friends.
 Discuss how you'll handle information he has after he leaves, if you require it.

Keep reading for the six things you shouldn't do... 

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The six don'ts of an employee's resignation

 Take the resignation personally. The employee isn't necessarily disloyal to you or your company, he's just doing what he thinks is best for him.

 Ignore the fact that the person is leaving. Prepare for his departure so you're not left in the lurch with no one to pick up where he leaves off.

 Never let an employee know you're happy he's leaving. Behave in a professional manner at all times.

 Leave the work handover to the last day. If your employee doesn't arrive on his last day, you'll have no way to get the information you need.

 Treat him as if he's already left. Give him access to information and computers until the last day, unless you have a specific security reason not to.

 Part on bad terms. The employee leaving might become a client or may be able to refer business to you. If he feels hurt, he may damage your business via word of mouth.

As far as possible, make sure you part on good terms. Because once an employee leaves he doesn't have to answer any questions about his work at your organisation. Even if he's the only ones who has the answer at his fingertips, he doesn't have to help if you phone him for answers.

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