It is typical of human behaviour to have an insatiable hunger for progress and aspirations for wanting more whether it be in a career or other aspects of life. Employees are thereby inclined to always look for a role that pays better, provides better benefits or adds to their professional and personal development. Whatever be the reason for an employee to move on, companies need to prepare themselves well in advance to efficiently and professionally handle the exit of employees.

Various organisations keep strengthening their retention strategies, which is not enough given the current market scenario. Even if a large proportion of employees are satisfied with their current jobs, they tend to leave the company seeking better opportunities eventually. Owing to a shortage of skilled employees and an ocean of job opportunities available for job aspirants, attrition becomes an inexorable problem that the employers face. Resignation of employees, especially that of key employees can pose major challenges to the company.

Here are a few ways to handle employee resignations, initially if the employee is a performing employee who get the desired results, there should be an attempt to retain the employee, if otherwise standard exit procedures may be followed.

employee exit negotiationNegotiate to Retain: It is a widely accepted fact that acquisition is harder than retention. If you feel that the issues of your employee can be resolved, and the employee is worth solving those issues, you must attempt to retain him/her. In most cases, a hike or substantial hike might lure the employee back into the job. When offering such benefits, make sure that the new contract is welcomed with some form of acceptance from the employee to remain with the company for at least a certain period of time to benefit from his/her services.
Establish a well laid-out resignation process: The employee rulebook/ handbook as well as employee orientation sessions should clearly mention the formal procedure for employee resignation. The employee should be liable to submit a formal resignation letter to one’s immediate supervisor and an attested copy of that should be forwarded to the HR department ensure the employee in withdrawn from payroll and other related accounts associated to the employer.
Smooth Transition of Tasks: The employee, his project team and his immediate supervisor should mutually decide and plan an effortless transition of tasks and responsibilities. This shall include briefing the co-workers about their new roles, providing trainings to employees. If the employee had developed good personal relationships with clients and other employees, let them meet the employee’s replacement, ideally with the departing employee present to  ensure continuity of good relationships.
Clearing the clutter:  It is a general tendency of employees to leave behind unfinished projects when they resign. If there is something crucial that needs to be done before the employee leaves, make it clear to the employee of such priortities. This ensures timely delivery of work. However, the work shouldl be realistic and feasible to be done within a limited time period.
Exit interviewExit Interview: An exit interview, preferably conducted by an unbiased third party, may prove to be a highly valuable organisational tool to the company. The employee shall be interrogated about his job experience, reasons for leaving and any other issue that concerns their resignation. Exit interviews serve as feedback to the company that shed light on the policies and practices that need to be reviewed which can boost employee retention.
Ensure company property is returned: Before the employee leaves, make sure that the employee returns everything the organization sanctioned him/her with. This may include laptop, mobile, car, ID cards/ access cards, keys to drawers/offices, company credit card, etc. Also ensure that the employee is not taking away any sensitive or classified information related to the organisation.
Settlement and relieving letter: Confirm the employee’s final settlement as he leaves. Ascertain that unpaid salary including LTA, bonuses and reimbursements, encashment of leaves that the employee didn’t take, gratuity and pension are duly paid to the employee. Once the amount is credited, send the employee a relieving letter mentioning his/her designation, tenure and compensation for their service to the company.
The best way to take care of resignation is ensuring that they do not happen at the first place. This begins with the selection of right candidate. Next, comes enhancing employee engagement through different strategies. However, if the exit is unavoidable, ensure a properly planned and formal process is undertaken to handle the exit of the employee. The best thing for the company to do is to generously accept the employee’s decision and be supportive in the exit process so that the employee exits with a good impression of the company.
 
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