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How To Respond When An Employee Resigns

How To Respond When An Employee Resigns

How Should Managers Respond When An Employee Hands In Their Notice?

In many cases, employees find handing in their notice is an awkward and sometimes unpleasant experience, with bosses beginning to treat them differently and show the cold shoulder. This should not be the case. We’ve created this brief guide on “How to behave when your employee hands in their notice”.

Find out their reason

Finding out the reasons your employee intends to resign is hugely important, especially if it was unexpected. Is there anything you can do to change their mind? There may be changes you can make to working arrangements to accommodate their circumstances, such as offering a transfer or increased benefits. For example, if the resignation is due to family commitments, could adopting flexible working help?

If employees are wanting to leave due to fall-outs and tension between the team, it is worth investigating. Managers and HR should review the company culture, offering team building and wellbeing courses to ensure the situation doesn’t become out of hand and you don’t lose any more good people as a result of something that can be easily resolved.

Unfortunately, when someone has made up their mind to leave it's unwise to force them into staying.

What to do when an employee hands in their notice:

  • Get written confirmation of the resignation, including the date. This will help resolve any future disputes over the exact date of resignation and the start of any notice period.
  • Confirm the employee's notice period.
  • Organise a handover period.
  • Arrange an exit interview.
  • Part on good terms. The person leaving may become a client or may be able to refer business to you.
  • Make a note of the exact leaving date – thank them for all of their hard work and wish them all the best in their new job.

Has your organisation just lost an employee? Call us now on 01905 613413 to discuss how we can help you.


Best practice when an employee resigns:

1. Thank them for their contribution.

2. Wish them the best.

3. Keep treating them with respect.

4. Let them know you are here if they need anything.

5. Be genuinely happy for them. Employees do not owe you their whole lives or their dreams.