What To Do When An Employee Resigns

People quit. It happens all of the time, so don’t take it personally. As a manager, you’re going to have to learn what to do when an employee resigns. It’s a situation that often comes out of nowhere and leaves you feeling like a deer in headlights. If you’re not prepared for this moment, it can leave you feeling a bit lost.

"Dear Boss, I Quit!" written on a chalkboard

What are you going to do when you hear the words, “I Quit”? You’ll likely feel a full range of emotions. Always keep the situation professional. When an employee resigns, it can leave you in a tough spot. Not only are you losing a team member, but you’re going to have to cover their work load and spend money on finding a replacement. Ugh…

What To Do When An Employee Quits Without Giving Notice

There are a million reasons why people resign from a job. Maybe they are looking for a career change, their spouse needs to relocate, they got a better offer, or they’re fed up with their current job. Most of these things are beyond your control. If you’re in a bigger company, losing an employee isn’t as big a deal, but if you work with only a few people, losing an employee can have a huge impact. Either way you’re going to have to deal with it so be positive – at least they gave you notice!

When an employee resigns, here’s what you need to do:

  • Remember To Breathe – When an employee chooses to resign, stay calm. Take a deep breathe and be friendly. It’s best to not burn any bridges because you’re flustered. Don’t take an employee’s resignation personally. Remember that when an employee resigns, they will typically still give you two weeks of work.
  • Follow The Standard Procedure – The policies, procedures, and protocols for this situation differs for every employer. Utilize a checklist and document everything to ensure that things are done properly.
  • Schedule An Exit Interview – Always hold an exit interview when an employee resigns. This is your opportunity to use your detective skills to find out why the employee is moving on. An employee may quit for reasons beyond your control or you may discover that you or your company could have done things differently. Have a productive Q&A session where you can learn as much as possible. If the situation allows, feel free to bargain with them to stay.
  • Communicate The News – Everyone needs to know about the situation. Work with the employee to formulate the best strategy to relay this information to the team. Communicate in a timely manner. Be honest so that no rumors start.
  • Make A Plan – After the exit interview, it’s time to make a plan. Reflect on what you can do differently in the future. Determine how to turn this into a positive. Can you use this opportunity to promote or challenge your remaining team members? What’s the best plan for hiring a new employee?
  • Celebrate And Say Thank You – When an employee resigns, throw a going away party on their last day and let them know that you appreciate their hard work.

Losing an employee isn’t the end of the world. It’s just a bump in the road that you will overcome. Luckily, everyone is replaceable. Do your best to part on positive terms and move on as quickly as possible.

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