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How to handle your employees resignation 

Client Advice

How to handle your employees resignation 

How to handle your employees resignation 

Handling an employee’s resignation is one of work life’s inevitable yet frustrating realities. When a member of your team decides to leave they also take their knowledge, contacts, skills and experience with them.

A Resignation can impact workloads, staff morale and even cause a domino effect of other people applying for external roles if not managed well. So what can you do to handle your employees’ resignation in the most effective way?

How to react to your employees resignation

It’s important to acknowledge that people come and go, so be gratuitous. Remember that if they are a good employee, you might want to leave the door open for them to stay in touch. They could re-join the company in the future with more skills gathered from other companies and direct competitors.

It’s also important to remember that the employee more than likely has a notice period to work and won’t be leaving the same day. Take note of the employees final date of employment to start the process.

Whilst difficult to accept, an employee resigning is also a learning opportunity to find out exactly why they are leaving. This could be issues with other team members or management, company culture, personal workload or morale.


When should you consider a counter offer?

When one of your employees resigns you will often have the opportunity to offer a counter offer. Counter offers can present an opportunity to not only retain a member of staff, but learn more about their motivations to leave.

This process is an opportunity for the resigning member of staff to reconsider their decision and for you as the hiring manager to decide whether you would like to counter their new offer.

Counter offers are usually made when the departure of an employee will have a significant impact on the business. This could be the cost of replacing someone with their skillset, the down time of recruiting a replacement or even the impact their departure would have on team morale. You should also consider whether the employee is moving to a direct competitor and the impact this can have.

The vast majority of counter offers are usually focused around an increase in salary or a promotion. But before you offer a higher salary, take the time to assess the situation and see if there is a more personal reason for this employee looking to move. For example, an employee could be burnt out and the opportunity to move on and make more money while doing it, was too good to turn down. In this instance you could approach the employee about flexible or remote working, highlighting the advantages of more time at home. Remember, this is a two way process that requires clarity and transparency, ultimately you want to achieve what is best for both parties.

The most common reasons for resigning and areas addressed in a counter offer include:

-An increase in salary

-Lack of opportunities in their current role, and potential career progression

-Negative working environment

-An opportunity to join a more high-profile company, or gain more experience in a particular field

-Better work-life balance


What should you ask in an exit interview?

If you have tried counter offering, or have decided to let your employee leave the business, you will need to conduct a formal exit interview process.

Exit interviews are a great way of finding out how you can improve processes within your business. It can give insight into specific staff and management issues, as well as bigger picture data on staff turnover. The answers likely show where improvements can be made to your processes, which will ultimately help you improve employee retention.

A snapshot into the insightful questions you can ask in an exit interview include:

What prompted you to start looking for a new job, and eventually leave?

This question can throw up a variety of answers and be attributed to both the employees personal and professional life, but start looking for common themes that arise across exit interviews. The secondary question is an opportunity to find out if there was a specific moment that prompted their final decision to resign.

Under what circumstances would you potentially return to the company?

This is an opportunity to hear any issues an employee has had with their role or with the business, but in a constructive way. This will also give you an insight into what they value in a job. They might bring up anything from pay, working hours, company culture and career progression.

Do you feel your contributions were appreciated in your role?

This is an important question because even if the employee was a good performer, it addresses whether they felt valued and appreciated rather than specifically their competency. It also can give an indication of any issues around morale and motivation for the remaining staff.

Do you feel you had the tools and resources to carry out the job to the best of your ability?

You can gather valuable feedback on whether there were blockers or skills gaps within the business which might have impacted the exiting employee. You can review the job role before finding a suitable replacement.

How has your role changed, and do you feel like you had clear goals and support?

People are often wary of showing any sign of not knowing exactly what their priority is or needing more clarity on a project. An exit interview – where they speak freely – is a good time to see whether there is a lack of clarity around the businesses strategic imperatives.


Notifying your other employees

If it’s appropriate, have conversations with your staff members to reassure them of how you plan to fill this vacancy. If people are going to need to take on more work, outline the timeline for finding a replacement – whether that’s a temporary or permanent employee. Show that the wellbeing of staff is a priority, and potentially address any compensation if the increased workload is significant. Employees feeling overwhelmed or overburdened is a huge contributor to staff turnover.


How to handle your employees resignation and source a replacement?

Agencies such as RE Recruitment provide a specialist recruitment service for businesses who need to hire new staff. Most recruitment agencies operate on a no win no fee basis, unless the search is retained. This means using a specialist recruitment agency will only cost you once the job is filled.

Skill shortages can increase the time it takes to find a suitable employee for your business.

Our team already have an extensive database of local talent which makes finding people an easy and efficient process. We have access to an extensive live database of contacts, and access to all the leading job boards.

With over 20 years experience of bringing professionals together, trust our team to help you fill your staff requirement.

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