Employees resign. It’s a fact of life, and one you will face. However, when a critical employee resigns right dab in the middle of a high-profile project or busy time, it can threaten your team’s success.
Follow these steps to manage this tricky situation:
Evaluate the circumstances. Is this person essential to hitting goals or completing tasks, or can you delegate his or her tasks to other employees? Can you take over the position temporarily? If you can’t imagine moving forward without the person, consider offering a retention bonus or paying the person a consulting fee to stay on until you hire a replacement.
Assess the employees’ readiness to help. If the exiting employees are disgruntled or have already shown signs of slacking off, it’s probably best to just terminate the employment and move on. Work with HR to ensure you’re following policies.
However, if they provide a two-weeks’ notice and seem genuine about helping you with the transition, put them to work doing so.
Delegate and train. As soon as you know employees are leaving, have them outline their workload and top priorities. Decide what you can park or eliminate in the short-term, and figure out what you need to manage.
Then determine who on your team could cover the rest temporarily. If you have no one with the skills or expertise to complete a task, hire a qualified, experienced freelancer to step in. Ask the exiting employees to train their co-workers on those tasks.
— Adapted from “How Would You Handle an Employee Resigning During a Critical Time Period?”, Business.com Answers, www.business.com.