Even the best employees resign. Regardless of your work environment or staff relationships, team members leave for reasons beyond your control. It may be a better opportunity, a return to school or a family relocation or commitment. Handled effectively, you can work through employee turnover so that the exiting individual knows they’ve added value and the impact is minimized for remaining colleagues.
Accept and Reflect
When you hear about a resignation, accept the news gracefully. Try to determine the real reasons behind their decision and then do some self-reflection. You may be able to turn an upsetting scenario into an opportunity.
- Hold an exit interview. Allow the employee to speak freely about why they’ve resigned. There may be a concern you can address to avoid losing other top performers in the future.
- Others will take their cues from you. So don’t panic or become angry or defensive. Reassure other team members. As for the departing employee, wish them well and don’t hesitate to give them recommendations and referrals if they deserve them.
The Counteroffer Option
Your employee has already made up their mind to leave. You can try to lure them back with more money, but in most cases you’ll just retain a dissatisfied person and kick the problem down the road. There are exceptions, but usually it’s advisable to steer clear of a counteroffer.
- It’s a last-ditch effort. The only situation where a counteroffer may be practical is if the cost of an employee’s departure far exceeds allowing someone else to take over their role. As you make this determination, factor in what the impact will be on the team and company if a person leaves. Consider how others will be affected, including customers and coworkers. Think about related non-monetary costs, such as product knowledge and proprietary business strategies. That said, be prepared for the possibility of the employee rejecting your counteroffer anyway.
Manage the Transition
Follow a checklist of procedures around employee resignation in a professional, coordinated manner. Wrap up the employee’s job and transition the work to others while you begin to recruit a replacement. Or, you may opt to rethink the organization of the work or your department as a whole.
- Have the employee submit a resignation letter. This triggers the chain of events necessary for formal termination. Contact HR immediately.
- Work with the individual’s supervisor. Be certain that their last days on the job are positive and contributory. Let the person work with their colleagues and allow others to volunteer to handle interim tasks. Don’t overload the departing team member with work, but rather allow them to efficiently help you start the transition process.
- Create a “to do” list. Sit down with the employee and list everything they’re currently working on, as well as key client relationships. Itemize plans for transferring key knowledge and contacts, as well as how to alert external customers of the pending change. Monitor progress throughout the transition period.
Of course, your best defense is a good offense. Try to identity and prevent possible problems well before a game-changing resignation occurs.
Partnering with a staffing and workforce development specialist in Modesto can be a tremendous asset in setting the right turnover and transition strategies. Contact the experienced recruiters at PrideStaff Modesto to learn more.