Employee leaving? Here's what to do

Your employee has announced they are leaving, now what? Could it be the longest list in the world of things to do, or are we just going to take a random approach depending on the person and what we know about them? So many questions, do you even have time for this, after all, there is the day job to do.

Imagine the difference to your day when you follow that to-do list, the one with the human element to it not just 'put employee name here'. The one that allows a swift, fair process (so you don't end up in hot water), and allows you to say "Thank you for your hard work" and have them feeling valued, and you like the best manager in the world. You get more time to think about planning the replacement, rather than worrying if you will have to start picking up the work.

More work = less family time.

Employee experience is also a big thing. I remember leaving one workplace, hearing all the praise of how they would miss me. The Monday after I had gone, I was still getting messages asking if I had left yet and could I answer a question. Not a great process.

Hands up, I've also had times where going through the process when someone is leaving with short notice feels like an impossible task. I get it.

These tips will help you with a swift employee leaving process.


You have your notification, in writing, that they are leaving, but why are they going? If they have a new job, why did they look for it or want to leave? More money, more responsibilities, a different working pattern, workload concerns. Something is the driver; you also want to make sure that they didn't feel obliged to resign for some reason. Then it would be investigation time.

If your star employee is leaving - its time to negotiate, small adjustments may be what is needed to secure them into staying.

It is a good idea to understand if the role is still fit for purpose, should there be any tasks added, taken away, can other people absorb them? Should the role now be more junior, or more senior? It's not always simple replacing like for like. Think of the bigger team picture, skillsets and organisational goals.

Now is also an excellent time to discuss how your leaver would like the announcement made to internal and external colleagues and contacts, with the opportunity to add a farewell message. You will want to keep morale high and not trigger an exodus.

So, what should you do when an employee announces they are leaving?


Time to write a letter acknowledging the resignation, or use a handy template, you will want to include necessary details like the leaving date, last working day, are there any restricted terms? Or items to be returned.

Planning the exit

The exit interview is your opportunity to capture your employees' feelings, did the job meet their expectations, what led them to leave, what would they like to improve. It's an opportunity for a candid, guided conversation to gather information to improve the company.

It would be best if you got your handover plan made, do you plan on an overlap with the new person to share knowledge, you want to keep as much of that in-house as possible.

The replacement

If you have decided to employ a replacement and know what the job looks like, it's time to think about how you plan to recruit them. Will you engage a recruiter? Will it be organic recruitment? What about vacancy advertising or perhaps a blend of them all?

Following a process makes life easier and saves time; it is part of having set processes and procedures to follow.

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