If an employee leaves the company and his or her departure is marked by some sort of “going away” event, e.g., lunch or celebration, there may be no need to make a formal announcement about the departure. A simple note in a company newsletter or the like may be enough, or a simple announcement advising of the employee’s last day.
However, if an employee is terminated by the employer or resigns in lieu of being discharged, the employer should act quickly to manage communication and dispel rumors related to the departure.
If the company is organized by clearly defined departments, the employer should first address the staff in the departing employee’s department. If the organization is small, the employer may wish to address the entire staff at once.
Although more personal communication is usually preferable, in a large organization, it may be necessary and appropriate to send an email informing the staff of an employee’s departure.
If an employee is leaving for another job opportunity, following a spouse or partner to a new location, or leaving for any reason without conflict, the employer may simply announce the employee’s departure date and wish the employee well.
If the employee is leaving involuntarily, the employer must be particularly discreet in what is said. Often the announcement is made after the employee’s departure. A simple announcement that the employee has left the company or that the employee has resigned may be sufficient. Employers should avoid providing details to avoid any risk of defamation claims or the like.
The absence of a departing employee will create a gap in productivity that you may need to fill with other employees. Thus, management should develop a plan to fill this void and share the plan with concerned employees. A transition plan to address an employee resignation should include:
Finally, if your departing employee has established a professional relationship with one or more of your company’s clients, it is prudent to alert any such clients to the employee’s departure. When dealing with a trusted employee who is leaving on positive terms, you may want to allow the employee to have this conversation directly with the client. Doing so may help the client understand that nothing troublesome occurred between the employee and the company that could negatively impact the client. In addition, it is important to consider doing the following:
Alerts you to the penalties associated with key federal laws such as COBRA and discrimination.
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