If you are in business long enough, you’ll lose employees eventually. Employees leave their jobs for many reasons, including other opportunities, furthering their education, retirement, or family relocation. When an employee gives notice, you have some important tasks to complete so your business continues in an orderly fashion.
An Employee Quits
Begin planning for the loss of an employee when you hire your first employees. Your employee manual should outline the type of notice you expect when they quit. Two weeks is common, but your company may require more time, especially for key positions. When the notice comes, do your best to remain calm and avoid reacting in anger. You might be able to retain your valuable employee with a counteroffer.
The Two Weeks
If your employee decides that leaving is his best option, you want to keep him productive during the transition period. The notice gives time for the employee to wrap up any final projects while laying the groundwork for his replacement. The two weeks provide time for a going-away party that celebrates what the employee has accomplished and provides an opportunity for well wishes from co-workers.
The Exit Interview
Exit interviews allow you to learn useful information about your organization. You can conduct the interview in person or send an email with a questionnaire for the employee to complete. The interview can provide important information on issues such as employee burnout. While it may be too late to prevent this employee from leaving, you can use the information to prevent others from following the same path.
Fulfill Your Legal Obligations
Your business has legal obligations when an employee leaves. You must provide the employee with a record of employment. The Canadian government uses the record of employment in determining if the employee qualifies for Employment Insurance benefits. You can complete tax documents for the compensation you have paid the employee, or you can wait and submit the documents before the end of February of the next year.
Protect Your Business
Employees often have access to sensitive information that’s necessary to fulfil their duties. When an employee leaves, it is important to protect your business from information leaks. If the employee signed confidentiality notices when he started the job, take time to review these documents before ending employment. Collect any security badges and keys before the employee leaves.
Filling the Gap
The loss of a key employee can leave a large hole in an organization. Make plans to cover the gap while you search for a replacement employee. While it may be possible to spread the workload temporarily among other employees, it is essential to protect them from becoming overburdened. A temporary employment agency may be able to provide an experienced employee to cover the duties for a brief time while you find a replacement. If the temporary employee is a good fit, you have the option of offering a permanent position. Losing a key employee is difficult for most businesses. Use the time between the employee giving notice and the last day of work in a positive way to build and protect your business. Your actions ensure the survival and continued growth of the company.