At the end of the day, you will have to say goodbye to top talent. This is inevitable. It does not matter how much appreciation you show, or even how happy an individual is working with your company. This is simply a fact of life in the business world. However, how a company responds to a notice of resignation can also impact employee retention rates.
Companies that handle an employee giving their two-week’s notice with grace and respect will be rewarded over time. Remember, this employee has given considerable time and energy toward your company, and they may not necessarily be departing because they are unhappy or dissatisfied. They do not deserve to be treated poorly for making what they believe is the best decision for their own career path.
Departures also do not happen in isolation. How you say goodbye to one employee will have an impact on the rest of your current team. If you are cruel and vindictive it will leave a bad taste in other employees’ mouths. Instead, you should reiterate the perspective that you care greatly about your employees, even after they stop working for your company. Demonstrating a civil and respectful separation gives employees peace of mind about how they will be treated if and when they decide to move on, and lets them know that there will be no ill will or back talking.
Apple is a good example of how a company can show respect for workers after they decide to take the next step in their career. On an employee’s last day as an Apple Genius, the entire company will stop what they are doing to clap for the departing member as they take off. Not only does this leave the employee with a good final impression of the company, but it will reiterate to current employees that they are all valuable and respected members, even after they move on from the company.
Handling departures with such dignity and respect can also greatly impact a company’s reputation and image. You should already know that your employees talk – both to one another as well as to prospective hires and clients. You should be proactively be making every effort to position yourself in a good light. And remember, there is always a possibility that the departing employee will choose to return to the company after they gain some more experience in the workforce. As they continue to advance their career, you want to be in their future consideration set.
Resignations can be hard leaving your company and team in a difficult position. However, it is always in your best interest to remain positive and put on a good face for the rest of your company. How you act in this situation can have a huge impact on your company’s culture, morale, and retention.