What To Do When An Employee Resigns

Your employee just resigned.  Now what?  We are here with some next steps you can take to make their departure a smooth one.

Prepare Employee Documents

Upon hiring a new employee, you should create an employee personnel file and keep the following documents in it:

  • Signed Employee Offer Letter.  When you hire a new employee, you should have them sign a copy of their Employee Offer Letter.  If you don’t have an Employee Handbook, this may be the only document that includes your company policies.  The signed copy of the Employee Offer Letter is proof that the employee had knowledge of your company policies.
  • Signed Employee Handbook Acknowledgement(s).  An Employee Handbook contains your company policies and should be signed by each employee.  Any time you make an update to the Employee Handbook, you should review it with your employees and have them sign a new Employee Handbook Acknowledgment. 
  • Screenshots of Communications Related to Employee Misconduct.  If your employee fails to perform their job or abide by your company policies, you may have written communications with them about their misconduct.  Keeping screenshots of these communications may provide useful evidence if a dispute about the reason for termination arises.
  • Signed Performance Reviews.  You should hold regular performance reviews with each employee either quarterly, biannually, or annually.  Keep signed copies of each Performance Review.

If you missed this step during the onboarding process, it is never too late to create an employee personnel file and collect as many of these documents as possible.

Decide on Employee’s Last Day of Work

It is customary for an employee to give two weeks’ notice when they resign.  If it is a friendly separation, and it would be beneficial to your company, you may choose to have the employee stay for two weeks (or another set amount of time).  During this time, the employee can help devise and implement a plan for delegating their work and training coworkers for the transition.

On the other hand, you may want the employee’s resignation to be effective immediately.  In this scenario, you will want to clearly communicate the employee’s last day of work.

Document Employee’s Separation

When an employee resigns, they might do so very informally—during a conversation or via email.  It is important to have evidence in writing that the employee resigned.  Be sure to document the following in the employee’s personnel file:  date the employee gave notice, their last date of work, and the fact that it was a resignation.

Prepare Final Paycheck

Under Arizona law, if an employee resigns, you must pay their final paycheck no later than the regular payday for the pay period during which they resigned.

Determine what compensation is owed to the employee.  At a minimum, you will owe their base compensation.  If the employee is due any commission or tips, be sure that those are paid out according to company policy. 

Hold a Private Meeting

You may choose to schedule a private meeting with the employee before their last day.   During the meeting, you can have the employee to turn in any company property that is in their possession, such as laptops, cell phones, and company credit cards.  If they do not have all company property with them, tell them the time and manner in which you plan to collect it. 

Disable Electronic Resource Access

On the employee’s last day of work, disable their access to the company’s electronic resources, including email, passwords, social media accounts, and remote log-ins.

Conduct An Exit Survey

An Exit Survey is a helpful way to collect feedback from an employee who is voluntarily departing.  The Exit Survey can provide insights into employees’ experiences and ideas for improving your company.

Retain Employee Documents

After an employee resigns, you should maintain their employee personnel file and all the documents inside it for at least four years. 





What To Do When An Employee Resigns

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