Dealing with resignations is never easy, no matter if it is out of the blue or if you saw it coming, it still hurts. It is important that you know what steps to take in order to minimise the impact that it has on your organisation.
Most resignations take place face to face between the employee and their line manager, this may also be followed by the resignation letter- although there have been various somewhat more ‘colourful’ ways that people have resigned!
Having a clear resignation process outlined in your contract of employment will be useful to staff if they are wanting to hand in their resignation.
Accepting a resignation can often be very difficult especially in a small business, so if the resignation catches you off guard, take a step back and get back to the script as quickly as you can. Try to stay calm, positive and after the initial meeting, book some time in with the leaver to discuss the plan going forward.
You may also wish to conduct an exit interview (we recommend this) in order determine their reasons for leaving- it could be that they are simply looking to move on or there may be unresolved issues that you are not aware of. It may be possible to resolve these issues to prevent the resignation if both parties are willing to do so however be careful of resignations which are being made in order to create leverage for better terms or increased pay.
If you have an employee who has resigned but will need to work a notice period, they could be potentially causing a risk to your business, especially with regards to Intellectual Property. One thing that you could do, is send them on garden leave if you have a clause in your contract of employment that allows you to do so.
Garden leave means that you are able to request that the employee stays at home during their notice period or alternatively a ‘pay in lieu of notice’ clause allows you to end their employment immediately or at a point of your choosing during the contractual notice period and pay the balance of the notice in lieu of them working.
Just because someone has handed in their notice, it does not necessarily mean that the employment relationship has ended. If someone hands in their notice in the heat of the moment, these can be reconsidered and retracted. Always make sure that you book in a chat with the employee to clarify their intentions.