The fact of the matter is that turnover is a very real thing, especially when it comes to construction or hospitality staffing. Employees find new jobs, be it because they are unhappy, are moving or simply want to work in a new position. Ideally an exiting employee provides you with notice. Two weeks is standard but let’s be honest, even a week is nice.
The Employer’s Role
When you receive a two weeks’ notice, you have options. Unless a contract stipulates it, you are not required to grant the employee the entire two weeks if you already have a new person trained and lined up. On the other hand, you can ask the employee to stay a little longer than two weeks, but he is not obligated to say yes. Replacing an employee can be time-intensive, so begin searching for a replacement as soon as possible. You can look for new hires at a job fair or through a staffing agency. Bringing in a temp could give you some extra time to find the perfect long-term person for the position.
Managing the Last Two Weeks
If the employee is in good standing, there is usually not a reason to let him go immediately once he has given notice. After all, he did provide you the courtesy of notice. You may want to set up some expectations for the last two weeks. One theory says that you just politely let departing employees know that nothing will change–they will be responsible for the same duties they have always been and that now there is simply a defined end date.
If you are not comfortable with this, you may choose to downgrade their duties a bit. You may transition them away from some of the job functions that are key to the overall business and ask that they work in a backup role while they finish out their time with your company. If you exercise this option, take some time to explain to the employee that you appreciate their being straightforward with you but that you have a process for transitioning staff out of your company. Keep in mind that allowing staff to complete their notice sends a good signal to other staff members. It will make them more likely to warn you when they decide upon a job change themselves and let them know that you are an understanding employer.
Dealing with the fact that employees quit is simply part of running a business. Every manager needs to be ready to transition employees out of their jobs while simultaneously bringing on new staff. Having a plan in place will help to make this process easier for you.
How to Hire Wisely (Inc.)