Skip to main content



Whether you are in a nimble start-up or a Fortune 500 company, you will eventually have to handle an employee resignation. People move on. It’s inevitable.

You need to handle a resignation in a way that keeps the business moving on the right track, builds relationships, and ensures that the hiring process for the replacement moves smoothly. Here are five steps to take after an employee resigns.

1.Manage the Announcement

News travels fast. Decide when the employee resigns how you need to manage the announcement. Should you call your department together to announce it yourself? Tell a few key people? Let the employee share the news? Factor in the employee’s personality and reason for leaving. If they are going to a competitor or they are a key player, you might want to announce the resignation yourself. If it’s a nice move up for a well-liked employee, let them announce it.

2. Plan to Distribute the Work

Within the first week, you need to have a plan for who will cover the resigning employee’s work. Do you need to contact a temp agency? Divide the work between two people for now? Get a list of all key deliverables and dates. If people will be covering until a new hire is made, have a meeting with them. If clients need to know, spread the news.

3. Decide the Who, When, and How of a Replacement

Do you want a replacement who does exactly the same tasks in exactly the same way? Or do you want to dramatically rethink the position? It could be either of these, or any point in between. You need to decide fairly soon after the resignation. Make a list of all duties. Does a reorganization make sense? Or does the ship need to sail as it did before? Once you’ve decided, call a staffing agency to help with the replacement process.

4. Make Sure Institutional Knowledge Is Shared

If your employee has valuable institutional knowledge, make sure it is shared before they go! Whether they know certain foolproof ways to load the copier or important lore about client preferences, get it and share it.

5. Plan a Good Bon Voyage

Be sure to respond graciously to a resignation, whether you’re losing a vital team player or solving a challenging situation. Congratulate the employee. If your company traditionally has lunches or parties for departing employees, keep up the tradition! Maintaining relationships now is as important as at any other time. It can expand and strengthen your network.


If you need help dealing with a resigning employee, or filling the vacant position that they are leaving, contact us today!