Jun 1, 2022 1:00:00 AM | 4 Min Read

What to do when an employee quits unexpectedly

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What to do when an employee quits unexpectedly

With large amounts of people quitting their jobs everyday, it is likely that you will be faced with this situation at some point in the future, if you haven't already.  This could come as a total surprise for you.  It may be an employee that is a leader on your team.  How do you handle this situation when you want them to stay?

Whatever you do, don't take it personally, belittle the new opportunity, or make them feel guilty for leaving your organization.  Here are six suggestions that we have to make sure your employees have a great offboarding experience:

1. Take a minute to digest

It is very important for you to take a few minutes and realize what just happened.  You can say things that show how surprised you were by their notice being delivered, but respond in a positive way.  Be very careful of how you word what you say because the last thing that you want to do is say something that would leave the individual with a negative impression of you and your business.   You want them to leave saying things about how they loved working for your company and how great of a boss you are, so you look good to future candidates.

2. Identify your emotions

It is important to identify how you are feeling in the moment described in the previous section.  You may feel hurt, discouraged, frustrated, etc. while also feeling surprised and proud.  Identifying exactly how you feel will enable you to come up with an appropriate response.  If you are not conscious of the negative emotions creeping in, it could trigger impulsive negative comments.  It is ok to say something along the lines of, "You will be missed here," or " I'm sad you are leaving."  However, stay away from any sarcastic remarks or rude comments.

3. Don't take it personally

If you are feeling hurt or betrayed, it is very likely that you are taking the news too personally.  Their choice to leave is more than likely a personal decision on their part and is not a testament of your character.  They are most likely following the best career path for them, and you need to try to be happy that they are propelling themselves forward in their career.  They are trying to make the best choice for them and/ or their family, which is what you should want them to do and is what you would be doing if you were in their shoes.

4.  Be interested in their future

Show that you are genuinely interested in their future.  Learn what they are going to be doing in the new position, and even ask if you can help in any way.  Additionally, ask them why they decided to leave your company, so you can improve things for employees in the future.  Ask if there is anything that you could do that would make them stay.  The feedback from these types of questions is great to have when considering improving retention efforts of current and future employees.

5.  Be supportive

Show that you are supportive of them and their decision to leave.  Having a positive relationship with departing employees is imperative to a successful business.  Even though they are a former employee, they are still an ambassador for your company.  You want them to leave on a positive not and potentially leave the door open for them to return one day.  Celebrate their new opportunity and focus on their contributions to your company.

6.  Ask for what you need from them

Make sure that you tell them what you need from them and ask what they need from you as they transition to a new position.  Whether this involves finishing a project or training others to take over their responsibilities, make sure to create a seamless alignment with the employee to create a smooth transition process to their next job.

Do not look at this as the end of your relationship with this employee, but look at it as a way that builds the relationship and helps all parties move on in a positive way.

Topics: Human Resources, Leadership, Employees

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