Sooner or later one of your employees will resign. Sometimes as a manager you are caught off guard while other times you might see the signs. Regardless, the best way to handle a resignation is to have a procedure in place and handle the process as professionally as possible. Here are steps you can take to “offboard” your employee successfully.
1) Receive the news professionally: Your employee could slip his resignation letter quietly in your inbox or announce it loudly at a meeting. Either way, you need to verbally acknowledge the information calmly and professionally. When alone, take the time to reflect on your feelings you may have.
2) Ask for the resignation in writing: If you received the resignation from the employee verbally ask them to write a resignation letter with their final date of employment stated. This protects you from unemployment claims and any misunderstandings.
3) Make arrangements to re-assign the employee’s responsibilities: Depending on the position you might be able to promote someone internally and have the resigning employee train them. If that is not the case and you need to hire a replacement, ask the resigning employee to start documenting the work they did so onboarding the new employee is easier. Another option is to hire a temp and have the resigning employee train them giving you time to hire a replacement.
4) Formally acknowledge receipt of resignation letter: Write a letter to the employee acknowledging the receipt of the resignation and confirm the last day of work. In the letter you should thank the employee for their service, wish them the best of luck, outline your expectation for the employee during their last weeks at the company, and inform them of the next steps of the “offboarding” process.
5) Notify key personnel about the resignation: As a manager it is very important for you to communicate the resignation of your team member quickly and effectively. Your team will be closely watching you to see how you handle the situation. Depending on the position you might also have to let clients and vendors know. Handling your employee’s resignation professionally and openly will help alleviate any concerns that clients, vendors or employees may have.
6) Gauge the employee’s attitude: In my experience I have seen stellar employees continue to do a great job right up to the last minute. Other times, I have seen employees who begin to show signs of disengagement. If that is the case, I recommend that you tell the employee that their services are no longer needed and that you will pay them for the rest of the notice period.
7) Get company property back from employee: Set up a time for the employee to bring back all company issued items such as laptops, samples, binders, etc. Hopefully you have a checklist of all the items that have been issued to the employee.
8) Conduct a confidential exit interview: An exit interview is a great way to gauge the morale of your workforce and to get an insight of issues you may not be aware of. I usually recommend that you outsource the exit interview process to a third party like Summit PA because employees are more likely to be open and give authentic answers.
9) Disable employee access: Depending on your company you may have to disable the employee’s building or property access. Also, terminate access to computer, telephone systems, credit cards, and update your payroll department.
10) Finalize compensation: Calculate non-salary monies owed to the employee it may include, vacation time, PTO, bonuses, commissions, and reimbursable expenses. Also, calculate any expenses owed by the employee. Submit the information to Payroll so that it can be include with the final check. A benefit status letter should also be sent to the employee indicating the effective termination period and any COBRA related information.
11) Final Paperwork: If the employee signed a confidentiality agreement or non-compete agreement give them a copy of the contracts and remind them of any obligations they need to be keep after the employment ends. Also, confirm if there are any changes to their contact information and get written permission for reference checking.