Employees come and go. As human resource professionals, we expect and plan for this. Often, the immediate steps employers should take are handled by a seasoned HR professional. But just like having an onboarding checking list – all organizations need to have an off-boarding checklist as well.

Here are nine steps to take when an employee resigns.

1. Congratulate the Employee

Take the high road and congratulate the employee. In your head you may be screaming “Oh NO!” Now is the time for professional grace, a simple, “I’m sorry to see you go, but this seems like a great opportunity. Congratulations.”

2. Establish Last Day of Employment and Number of Working Days Left

Two weeks is a customary notice, and often in senior leadership positions, 3-4 weeks may be specified in an employment contract. Assume the employee wants to make a smooth transition and establish the last day of employment and discuss any additional time off they may want to take before leaving.

3. Develop an Internal Communications Plan

It is important to communicate with peers, leadership and other internal stakeholders. The goal is to minimize any stress, gossip and uncertainty to those who will be affected by the loss of the employee. Assuming this is a professionally given resignation with a standard two weeks’ notice, work with the employee on the communications plan.

4. Develop an External Communications Plan

Notification to external contacts varies dramatically from company to company. The worst case scenario is telling the soon-to-leave employee NOT to tell external contacts they are leaving. A better scenario is to have the employee’s manager reach out to any external contacts with an email and if possible, a phone call to reassure the continuity of operations.

5. Make a Transition Plan

Meet with the employee to detail day-to-day responsibilities and special projects. Document the employees key contacts and best ways to communicate with external contacts. Get any immediate deadlines they may be working on.

6. Document All Credentials

Even if your company has an established and formalized username and password policy, exceptions to policies frequently occur. Get a list of systems and apps your employee uses every day and document the usernames and credentials to each of them.

7. Execute Internal Communications Plan

Use this opportunity to reassure stakeholders that a smooth transition has been planned. Depending on the size of the organization, communicating the news is typically done by the employee’s manager in a company meeting or by email.

8. Execute External Communications Plan

Assure clients, vendors and partners that continuity of service and operations will be maintained. Typically, the employee’s managers communicates this by phone and/or email.

9. Conduct an Exit Interview With Collection of Company Assets

Never assume you know why an employee is leaving. The reasons vary from advancement opportunities, more money, better commute, better or less hours, etc. You can use this first-person intelligence to make improvement suggestions to the leadership team. Collect any company assets from the employee at this meeting, such as key cards, laptops, security badges, etc.

Recruitment is Ongoing

Employees come and go. The biggest mistake an employer can make is to get too comfortable and think their key human assets will never leave. Having an ongoing partnership with the Jarvi Group allows you to respond quickly to sudden employment changes. This reduces company stress and minimizes the costs of lack of productivity. Contact our top Jarvi Group recruiters today!

Jarvi Group

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Grand Rapids, MI 49504


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