What To Do When An Employee Quits Without Giving Notice

It’s every company’s worst nightmare – a star employee quits without giving notice. This disruptive workplace behavior happens more than we’d like to admit. Whether an employee emails, leaves a post-it-note, or throws a temper tantrum and runs out the door in a blaze of glory, quitting without notice is an unfortunate situation for all parties involved.

Man with scissors cutting tie before quitting

People quit their jobs for a variety of reasons. The standard protocol for an employee planning to quit their job is to give two-weeks notice. This gives you plenty of time to ensure that your business continues to run smoothly. Yet, a growing number of employees are deciding to quit without giving notice. According to Clark.com, a good number of these individuals are millenials.

Now it’s important to note that in most states, employees can quit or get fired at any point in time – without giving notice. The majority of employment in the US is “at will”. According to PayScale.com “at will” employment means that “an employment relationship can be ended “at the will of” either party without cause and without notice, barring legal prohibitions, contractual obligations, or actions not in the best interest of public policy.” That means that anyone on your team could stand up right now and walk out the door.

When an employee quits without giving notice, it’s a real bummer and it can come as quite a shock. For the employee, they are burning bridges, may lose out on positive references, and may not be eligible for unemployment benefits. For an employer, it’s disruptive, inconvenient, and frustrating. Productivity decreases, work must get covered, and it can cost a lot of money to hire a new employee. In reality, no good can come from an employee quitting without notice.

When an employee quits without giving notice in your office, here’s what you need to do:

  • Stay Calm And Be Professional
  • Don’t Take It Personally
  • Know Company Protocols
  • Discuss Future Plans
  • Ask Why
  • Make A Counter Offer To Get Them To Stick Around
  • Communicate With Your Team
  • Share The Responsibility Of That Person’s Job Until It Is Filled
  • Hire A New Employee To Fill The Role

Consult with your company’s legal team about what to do in this situation before it happens to you. This way you are as prepared as possible. Hopefully you never have to deal with an employee who quits without giving notice, but if it happens, at least you will know what to do.

See Also: Warning Signs That Your Best Employees Are Planning To Quit

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