What to do when an employee quits

quitting noteLosing a good employee can almost feel like breaking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend.

No doubt you’ve heard someone say, “Don’t worry there are plenty of others,” or, “It’s not you it’s me,” or asked yourself, “what did I do wrong?”

Yes, losing an employee can be difficult, especially with so much time invested into their well-being. And yes, it can be frustrating. But, as a leader and an adult, you have to take it for what it is, accept the terms, and move on.

What should you do when an employee quits? Take a look below:

End things on a good note. You might feel jaded that they are leaving, especially if it happens to be at a very stressful time. However: you don’t want their stay to be miserable for either party.

First things first: if they received a job offer elsewhere, congratulate them and wish them the best of luck on their future endeavors. If they don’t have a definitive plan, offer them whatever help you can, like a good recommendation or reference letter. Doing so can ensure as smooth of a transition as possible and will increase your chances of them feeling like they’re leaving on a high note.

Step in their shoes. Rather than taking the “woe is me” approach, try to look at it from their point of view. More than likely, you’ve had to leave a previous job because things weren’t working out or because you were frustrated—so why be frustrated with your employee for doing the same?

If they’ve invested a great deal of time in the company, given you enough notice to get back up to speed, and promised that they will finish strong, then the least you can do is accept their next move and consider yourself as an integral part of advancing their career.

Offer them a job. It seems kind of strange to offer them another job when they are trying to leave, but it doesn’t hurt to try. In some cases, their reasons for leaving can be as simple as better benefits and pay.

You don’t need to pry, but consider asking them if there is anything you can do to make them reconsider, and show them that you are willing to do whatever is necessary because you see what they are worth. If that doesn’t work but you’re still in an agreeable situation, make it a point to let them know that if there is a spot available, they are always welcome to return.

Start hiring immediately. Don’t wait until their last day or even last week. The turn-around time on hiring a new employee can be long, so it’s important that you move fast. Don’t forget the cost and process of training, either.

Whether that means looking back at recently submitted resumes, posting a job ad, or even hiring internally (promoting), starting on the hiring process as soon as possible ensures a smooth transition for you and everyone else.

Ask why. You’ve probably already asked them why they are leaving, but it shouldn’t stop there. It is important to ask yourself and everyone around you why this is happening. Don’t simply dismiss it as something completely out of your control.

Rather, try to learn from the situation and feel others out as well. We are not saying you should corner your other employees and ask them “you aren’t going to leave me are you?” but it doesn’t hurt to let everyone know that if they have any problems, that your door is always open to discuss them.

Employers, what do you think? How have you handled employees leaving you? Employees, any advice you can give to employers on how to handle someone leaving? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

photo credit: Resignation Letter via photopin (license)

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