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What to Do When an Employee Leaves

What to Do When an Employee Leaves

David Javitch: Employee Management | Entreprenuer

For the entrepreneur, employee turnover always raises challenges, questions and issues. Employees, of course, leave for many reasons. They’re promoted, take a new or “better” position, retire – and, yes, sometimes they’re terminated.

Whatever the cause – even if an employee is asked to leave before the end of the day – it’s crucial for you and the direct supervisor to gain as much accurate information as possible about the current status of that employee’s plans, activities, communications, upcoming events and obligations.

That way, the transition to and startup for the replacement employee or employees avoid many of the obstacles often associated with turnover.

1. You’ll need to know the answers to at least these three questions:

  • -What are the typical tasks and obligations the current employee fulfilled?
  • -What are the interactions and outcomes of working with internal and external clients?
  • -What are the responsibilities on a daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual or annual basis?

Typical examples are periodic updates, reports, performance appraisals, meetings and phone calls.

2. Understand the tasks that the employee performed. Certainly, many of these will be stated in the job description. Often, however, these documents often are not kept up-to-date and may not be informative or helpful. You’ll need to know how the employee performs tasks, with whom, with what degree of exactness and with what standard of quality. Additionally, you ought to know who needs to be copied on memos, e-mails, summaries or “FYIs” regarding those tasks.

3. Identify the key people the employee interacts with. Who are the people who can be trusted or counted on? Who are the “go to” individuals or groups, at what level and for what topics, purposes or activities? Whom does the employee go to for permission, input, insight, details, guidance, action or even a strong shoulder to lean on? What are the teams, task forces, committees and other organizations that the departing employee belongs to, leads or needs feedback from? Who relies on the departing employee for advice, input, approval or direction?


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