If you employ people, it’s likely you’ve already experienced someone handing in their notice.

How did you deal with it?

Perhaps you were upset, blindsided by the news? Maybe you were relieved because it was an employee who wasn’t performing well anyway?

Whatever your emotion, hopefully you managed to compose yourself enough to express your regret (genuine or not) and tell your employee that although you’ll be sad to lose them, you wish them well in their new role.

What’s really important is that you handle the process of them leaving the company in the right way.

Always make sure they put their resignation in writing. Then you must inform them of their notice period and the date of their last working day – put this in writing too. If they request to leave with immediate effect, you need to understand the reasons for this request; sometimes this may be beneficial to the company and sometimes it may be disruptive as a handover may be required.

Depending on the nature of your business and the person’s role, you may wish for them to work their notice period, part of it, or you may put them on gardening leave (depending on what is written into their contract). You should also work out remaining annual leave and/or holiday pay owed and let them know that this will be included in their final pay.

It’s a good idea to hold an exit interview in most cases. This will allow you to find out if there was any underlying reason for their decision to leave. For example, if they felt like they were being overlooked for promotion, or they weren’t getting on with a colleague. This will help you identify any improvements that you could make within the business.

It can be a stressful time when someone leaves – especially in a small business. If you could do with support handling the situation, just give us a call on 0333 2005153