If your current exiting employee checklist consists of:
...then you really don’t have an Employee Exit Plan at all. A company-wide plan for this employment life-cycle event should be created.
Whether your employee resigns with two-weeks notice, you make a termination decision with three-days-notice to key management, or an employee walks off the job with no notice, a structured response process will best serve your team and business operation.
Six key areas of focus will help provide a structured process when facing the departure of an employee. Each area requires dedicated time and attention.
Make sure you don’t just ask for this and then check in on his last day. Check in regularly on progress, as it is easy for the exiting employee to have his own ideas of how best to use his last two weeks, such as getting one project done. While that’s one thing done, that may still leave the team in the dark about everything else the exiting employee was doing. Documenting all work elements and status is crucial. You may also assign one or more team members to do some shadowing with the exiting employee.
When there is no notice, dedicate the necessary time for someone on the team to research the former employee’s email account, recent documents and physical files accessed to gather as much knowledge as possible on his current tasks and responsibilities.
If backfilling the role, will you post the position internally and/or externally? Who will participate in the screening and selection process? Take the time to analyze the situation. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to make the business function even better with a few minor, or even big, adjustments to process.
A structured company-wide message that communicates a calm and prepared response, answering logical questions of interim solutions and contacts for that role’s duties best minimizes potential for unintended negative reactions. If the employee is working out a notice and leaving on good terms, some employees will want an opportunity to say goodbye. Scheduling an opportunity for that and thanking the exiting employee for their service goes a long way in demonstrating a positive work environment to your team members.
Employee departures can potentially have a long lasting and negative ripple effect within an organization. Put structure into place now for dealing with developments like this to ensure a smooth transition and even capitalize on the opportunity to review workflow and help your company function better.
Tracie Lilly, Senior HR Business Partner, joined Propel HR in July of 2016. Tracie has over 18 years of HR leadership experience and is a national member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources through both SHRM (SHRM-SCP) and HRCI (SPHR) with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Edinboro University. She has led the HR and Risk Management functions of a large retail company with more than 1,400 employees at 80+ locations. Her experience serving for more than ten years at both the executive level of a for-profit business and within the community on the Greenville County Workforce Investment Board has equipped her with the skill sets to translate organizational strategies into actionable HR initiatives.