Your employee just quit. Now what?
Regardless of the reason for the termination, what do you need to do to keep functioning and not lose productivity or morale? What steps do you take to move forward?
The first step is to not panic or worry over things unnecessarily. It’s natural to be upset, angry, worried, stressed, or even happy that an employee just quit. Although the situation may be stressful, it is also an opportunity to assess the current role and see how or if it needs to change.
Can things be done differently or more efficiently? Could this create a promotional opportunity for another team member? Maybe a re-organization of department or duties is in order.
Remember: employees don’t stick around forever. The best thing you can do is to plan in advance. If you haven’t already, create alternate schedules to cover for short-staffing, or pull together a team to develop and recommend backup planning and alternate operations.
Sometimes an employee quits and holds a great deal of institutional knowledge. In this case, have the employee cross train-team members of document their tasks and procedures; preferably before they’re on their way out.
If the employee has already given their notice, then you could also contract with them to provide training (written or otherwise) after they’ve terminated their employment. This would result in additional payment to the individual, however, it may be worth your time, money, and sanity to have them stay on to help out.
If a staff member leaves, be sure to let your team know. Your employees want to know what’s happening in your business deserve to be kept in the loop.
For those employees that quit on good terms, a nice send-off message via email to the organization might be appropriate, thanking them for their service or wishing them well on their next venture.
For those leaving on maybe a not-so-nice note, a general team update letting folks know that person will no longer be working with the agency may be helpful. If employees ask for details, a simple statement as to company policy regarding not sharing personnel information or action will suffice.
Also be sure to communicate with department heads, managers, and HR members so that everyone knows the same information and the next steps in the process.
Who is responsible for what? What needs to happen, and what is the timeline? There’s no time to waste when you’re making a hire.
If hiring managers are supposed to screen or interview candidates, give them strict deadlines and provide them with clear expectations. Waiting too long to complete steps is a sure-fire way to lose candidates.
HR is integral in the recruiting process and should take the lead – after all, this is one of their main responsibilities. Don’t have an HR process, representative, or department? Partner with an HR consultant like Be the Change HR and a recruiting firm like Pro R.E.A. Staffing to save time and money.
The last step in the process is to continue to follow up. How is the new hire (or process or procedure) working out? Any further training needs or changes that need to be made?
Make sure you have a pulse on agency culture, turnover, reasons for people leaving, and how departments are functioning. Continuous training and follow-up show you are invested in the organization and teams’ success.
In short: keep it manageable, and don’t create further stress for yourself or your team. If you follow these five steps you should be well on your way to a smooth transition. Who knows, after your careful planning and evaluation you may even end up in a better place than where you started.