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What to do When an Employee Quits

Blog / March 15, 2018

No matter how great a manager you are and what kind of perks you offer, you’ll always have employees who quit. The reasons are often out of your control, but you can handle what happens next. Be patient, empathetic, and positive as you listen to their reasons. Ask for a written letter that states his final date of employment. Here are five more steps to take when an employee quits.

Figure out the end date

Yes, the resignation letter specifies a departure date, but you might want him to leave sooner—especially if you don’t trust him or he has a toxic presence. If that’s the case, continue to pay him through his requested end date, but make it clear that he doesn’t need to come in.

Tell the team  

Start by notifying department or team the employee was a part of. Call a quick meeting, praise the former employee, and thank the team in advance for their cooperation taking on extra work. Let them know your plan for finding a replacement, so they have an idea how long they might be burdened with any additional duties. Remain calm and convey consistent messages so rumors don’t spread.

Contain the disruption

There will surely be some sort of disruption to the workflow, but try to minimize it. If your departing employee is able to stick around those last two weeks, then she can help wrap up loose ends, pass along details about ongoing projects, and chat with co-workers about leaving so they’re not paralyzed with shock. If she deals with customers, have her inform them and make the introduction to his replacement so business doesn’t skip a beat. 

Evaluate the need for a replacement

Make a thorough list of all his responsibilities and projects. Ask the departing employee if he has any suggestions naming a replacement. You might need to hire a temp right away or you might be able to simply redistribute tasks around the office. Find out what else he did or what little secrets he might know that need to be handed over to someone else. This might be as simple as watering the plants, knowing how to fix the copier, or planning office birthday parties.

Acknowledge why that person left

Some employees resign for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with you or your company. Maybe his spouse takes a job that will move the family out of state. Or there’s an illness in the family. Maybe he leaves to take a risk at a start-up. Those were you’re your fault. But if you see a trend of employees leaving for better pay or more professional advancement opportunities, it might be time to do some soul-searching. Can you do something to improve your benefits package? Employee turnover can be a huge stressor on a company, so do what’s in your power to hold onto those workers!


For more information on how to retain your best employees, check out our website at


Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh