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Handling Resignations- Our guide for smooth process!

Receiving a resignation from an employee can bring various amounts of emotions and responses depending on how you valued the employee. It could be someone who has been a loyal, hardworking and brilliant employee looking to gain experiences elsewhere or it could be someone who has caused you no ends of pain. Either way handling resignations appropriately will make sure that there is a smooth transition.

1. Assess the situation
What are the circumstances of this person leaving? Was there a situation that triggered this? This should be investigated. Was it a resignation in the heat of the moment? Keeping these questions in mind should help determine how you deal with the overall situation.

2. Is there a grievance?
Is there anything in the resignation that may be considered a grievance? If so follow your grievance procedure.

3. Determine and agree an end date.
Some employees may want to leave as soon as possible, are you able to accommodate this? Or is there a requirement to work their full notice period? Check your contract clauses, does it have a pay in lieu of notice clause or a garden leave clause?

4. Establish and set expectations for the handover.
This is critical in managing anyone leaving the business. You want to make sure that anything the employee is working on, a contingency plan is in place. Meet with the employee to discuss current work commitments and any ongoing projects involved with.

5. Follow up in writing
It is important to confirm the resignation in writing detailing the agreed end date, any holidays accrued and agreed handover commitments. This ensures clear expectations.

6. Decide on how to communicate to staff.
Depending on the circumstances, person or role, think about how you want employees to know. A key member of staff leaving might be unsettling for those behind. It will be important to provide reassurances where possible.

7. Transition/Handover
It may not always be possible but having a handover period will support the transition phase. If a physical handover can’t be achieved ensure that documents are in place, procedures are up to date and important dates in the diary are noted.

8. Do you need a replacement?
Sometimes when someone leaves it can be a good opportunity to review the role and whether anything can be done better. Do you really need that role? Can the duties be absorbed in to others? Does the job need more resource? It is all worth thinking about.

9. Counter offer?
Not always advised but should be considered is a counter offer. Usually, if they are accepted, it is not a long-term solution and the reason they wanted to go in the first place is still there and not resolved. This may be a good idea to think about an interim solution whilst succession planning of the role is reviewed.

10. Exit Meeting
Some businesses do not carry them out, some do but then do nothing with the information and the very few actually use them as part of their recruitment and retention strategy. Have something in place that will actually get carried out. Using this data can enable you to reduce future leavers.

Do you need some support in dealing with resignations? Or would you like to tell us about a challenging situation when someone resigned? We would love to hear from you! Contact our HR Specialists on 0161 478 3800 or [email protected]


Handling Resignations- Our guide for smooth process!

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