When an employee resigns it often throws up a myriad of questions for an employer, not the least of which being why? You may not have seen it coming and it might be a valued member of staff to boot. The first piece of wisdom would be to not take it personally! It’s not a situation many people feel comfortable with, for you or for your now soon to be ex-employee. Taking it personally will only add to many of the potential complications this issue brings up. So what is the best way to deal with it? To put it simply, there are two clear options once that resignation letter is in your hands.
You either counter offer, or you let them go:
1) If you decide a counter offer is worth making, you should ask what would persuade them to reconsider? The issues at play are often not purely financial in nature. Exploring the options as to why they are looking to leave not only provides some valuable feedback for you, but it also gives your employee another chance to examine why they have made this decision.
2) However, in many situations it is sensible to avoid it altogether. Consider their future loyalty and the fact they were looking in the first place. What message does this send out to the wider team? The reasons they were looking in the first place will usually remain, unless they were purely financial. A counter offer may risk simply prolonging the inevitable.
3) It can be difficult to let them go and this still needs to be managed effectively, but sometimes it is the best option. Conduct an exit interview and see why they really want to go. This is another great opportunity to dig down into the heart of the matter and see if/where you can improve upon things for their colleagues.
4) Any contractual obligations at this point should be also be looked at; what negotiations can/should be done? When is garden leave appropriate? Try and look at the bigger picture and don’t overthink things like employee leaving dates and p45 forms.
5) Whatever happens, it is important to remember that someone’s experience at your business stays with them for a long time. Even though employees will leave, they will be talking about your business and their experience there long after they have left. This experience is as important for your employer and overall brand image as your customer marketing strategy! Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Making this process as smooth and as painless as possible can often have a positive impact on your business, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
By taking these steps you can avoid a lot of trouble. The next challenge for you is finding a replacement…