Written by: Anne Swenson – HR Coordinator and Charmaine Hollaway – Managing Director of HR & Benefits
Unfortunately it happens…receiving the notice of resignation from one of your best employees. You may feel like they are leaving you in a lurch or wondering what will happen once they are gone, but pull yourself together because what you say next is crucial.
Remember, this is about the employee, not you. Even though you will be missing the great work ethic and problem solving skills, the employee has already gone through the anguish of making the decision to move on, so put on a “happy for you” face. The top rule in the business world is never burn a bridge, so even if the employee doesn’t resign with all the grace or professionalism one expects, take the high road. Treat them with the same respect you would want if you were the one resigning. This can leave the door open later on in case your paths cross again and with certain industries, that is very likely! Another thing to keep in mind is that other employees are watching how you handle the situation. Treating the departing employee with respect goes a long way with everyone else too.
Something often overlooked or taken for granted is the letter of resignation. Be sure to get the resignation in writing, even if the employee first tells you verbally. It’s always best to have a paper trail for the file in case a discrepancy comes up later. To go along with your employee’s letter of resignation, consider writing a formal resignation acceptance letter back. This way everyone has confirmation of the employee’s resignation and it is yet one more piece of paper for the file. Mention the agreed upon last day of work as well as the employee’s title in your letter. Having a witness on hand when you deliver the letter is also a good practice, again in case of discrepancy later.
The final step is to make a formal announcement of the employee’s departure. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for you, as the business owner or employee’s manager, to make this announcement to the team, company and clients (when applicable). Nothing is worse than having the office gossip spread before you can get to it. Not only do you look disrespectful to the employee by skipping the public acknowledgement, you risk burning that bridge or rubbing current employees the wrong way.
By taking control of the situation, you can help make the transition a bit smoother for everyone in the office, while avoiding hurt feelings. Showing your departing employee respect is a big deal to those who remain working – and that’s important so that you all can move on together.
Please contact us to see if MidwestHR is the right partner for your growing company.
MidwestHR supports growing companies by helping them simplify their business through HR Outsourcing. MidwestHR is a Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) headquartered in the Chicago land area. As a CPEO, we provide business owners, CEO and CFO leaders with relief from dozens of time-consuming HR & employment related functions, while helping protect the business from ever-increasing HR demands and liabilities. In addition, our clients have the ability to offer “Fortune 500 type” benefits, while being able to better control their premiums in the process.
MidwestHR regularly works with all types of businesses, including medical practices, surgery centers, non-profits, professional service firms, technology companies, printing companies, religious organizations, start-ups, manufacturing businesses, trucking companies and financial institutions.