Change is inevitable; acceptance is optional. Even companies with the strongest talent management programs have employee resignations. It is simply a part of life in a business. How a company handles the resignation can deeply impact employee retention. Lets look at best practices when faced with the dreaded two week notice.
How are resignations and retention related? How the resignation is handled directly affects retention. No one wants to work for a company that treats a departing team member poorly. The tone used when announcing the departure is the key. By announcing to the group that “John or Jane is moving on and the company wishes them well” is a very good for employee morale. The remaining team members feel that the company is amicable and open to change. It also gives piece of mind that if or when they decide to move on, for whatever reason, that there will be no ill will against them in the workplace.
How the resignation, two-week timeline and final day are approached can also impact a company’s brand and image. Big companies are keenly aware of this phenomenon. When an Apple Genius leaves for the next stage of their career, the entire staff on duty stops what they are doing and clap for the departing team member as they leave on their final day. This shows the customers, employees and leaving team member that Apple values their employees. It also leaves the departing employee with a good final impression of their time at Apple.
Even more important than maintaining the company’s image is maintaining the manager’s image. Treating an employee poorly during their notice period can come back to haunt a manager. People change positions now more than ever. The individual who left the company might be the person interviewing that manager when they decide to move on. Remember, it is an increasingly small world these days.
There are times, however, when an employee needs to be walked out of the building immediately following resignation. This unfortunate event should be avoided at all costs, but if necessary there are ways to keep employee morale intact. Transparency is the best means of retaining employee morale. By announcing the departure straight away and explaining that the situation was unique can help maintain morale. Being prepared for questions and dispelling rumors will ensure that the resignation and walk out are quickly put in the past so everyone can move on.
Employees leave for many, many reasons…family, relocation, more money, etc. Regardless of the reason, an employee departure gives the manager and the company an opportunity to learn more about themselves. Performing an exit interview is the only way to truly learn from the experience. Proactive companies will then take that information to implement changes or enhancements to current programs.
While resignations are never fun to deal with, it is in a company’s best interest to remain upbeat. How you react to a resignation can directly influence employee morale, loyalty, and retention.