What to Do When Your Employees Suddenly Quit on You

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It happens in all companies, even the ones with the best benefits, a solid EVP, and an ambiance that would put any millennial’s dream workplace to shame: people quit their jobs. In some cases, managers can see it coming, but sometimes it comes right out of the blue. When an employee drops the Q-Bomb it can take a heavy toll on you, your existing employees, and your recruiting team.

In the best of cases, the resignation will be in good terms and the employee will offer a two weeks’ notice. If your relationship with the employee was exceptionally good you may be able to get a month. However, you should always start taking actions as soon as you receive the news.
Follow the Rules

It’s probable that your company already has some stipulated protocol about what to do when an employee resigns. Most companies would agree that the very first thing to do is notifying Human Resources, so they may begin taking care of their part of the situation. Some companies have very strict rules about these situations, such as escorting the resigning employee out of the premises as soon as they quit. The important thing is that you’re clear on how to proceed from that point on.

Don’t Take it Personal

When someone quits their job, it is rarely an easy decision. Resigning to a job means leaving behind a certain level of stability and comfort, but when people do it for the right reasons it’s because there’s something better ahead. Whatever the case, you can’t take a resignation from one of your employees as something personal.

When one of your workers gives you the news that they’re resigning, it may be hard, but you must try to always keep a straight face and be professional about this. The very last thing you want is to cause a scene, so try to stay calm and have a nice conversation with your employee. You may inquire about the reasons or their future plans.

If, and only if, you consider the employee to be too important for your company to lose, then you may start negotiating to see what you can do to make them stay. This can be a tricky thing since you don’t want to grovel and seem too desperate.

This is also the moment to discuss whether they will be staying and doing their two weeks’ notice or if they will just pack up and leave that very day. If they choose to stay you need to start sorting things out to make the transition as easy as possible.

Start Spreading the Word

Once you have sorted everything with your resigning worker, you need to decide how you’re going to tell everyone else. Was the worker popular and well liked by the rest of the company? Keep in mind that this affects everyone else as well, since they will probably have to work extra hard to keep up with their schedule now that a team member is leaving.

Let your employee decide how they want to let everyone else know about their departure. They may want to do it individually with each of their coworkers, some may prefer to simply do it as a general announcement, and sometimes the power of gossip will get the best of you.

Start Looking for a Replacement

You have a worker that is leaving you and so there will be a position open for grabs, you’re faced with two choices: you could pick an existing employee to take over the responsibilities of the vacant spot, or you could hire an external person.

Each case is different, and your decision should be based on several factors. If the resigning worker decides to give their two weeks’ notice, then you could ask them to train one of their coworkers to take over. In most cases this will mean a promotion and you will still need to hire someone to fill in the gap. The upside to this is that it is usually easier to hire someone for a position that is lower in the hierarchy of the company.

The other scenario here is hiring an external worker to take over the position left open. This usually happens when the resigning worker had a position that was too specialized and there’s no one with the skills to replace them. It is up to you to identify the best course of action and notify the HR manager whatever you decide, so they may begin with the corresponding paperwork.

Parting Words

It’s not easy having an employee quit on you all of the sudden. You need to stay on task for the good of the company and the morale of your remaining employees, and your own! But when you break the entire process into different stages it becomes somewhat easier. Just take it one step at a time.

Edu Rojas
Content Marketing Editor at neuvoo