Whether you're the one leaving the company or you're the company representative transitioning a current employee to a former one, an employee exit policy applies in either situation. Protocol and professionalism are the typical words of advice for a resigning employee, and process is the company's rules for letting someone go or accepting a resignation.
Tendering Your Resignation
Giving your employer at least two weeks' notice generally is considered standard protocol as well as a sign of professionalism. But some companies require up to 30 days' notice, while others will accept your two-week notice but pay out the remainder of your time and escort you out the door on the same day you tender your resignation. For many employers, when employees leave of their own volition, the exit policies are relatively straightforward and uncomplicated.
What You're Due Upon Quitting
Referring to your employee handbook when you leave your job can streamline your departure. Policies that concern your final pay, benefits, rehire eligibility and maybe even your future career may be explained by the human resources manager or benefits specialist. The policies that many companies follow involve meeting with a member of the HR team to calculate a final paycheck and vacation pay due, arranging for continuation of health benefits and providing you with information about transferring retirement savings.
There's typically a very short time between when a company decides to terminate an employee and when the employee leaves the premises. In extreme circumstances or in cases of an employee's gross misconduct, the exit policy dictates immediate discharge and walking the employee off the premises. When an employer fires a worker, such matters as providing notice of employee benefits continuation, delivering final pay and shipping the employee's personal property may be handled via email and courier service.
Some policies include a voluntary exit interview, which gives the employee a chance to express her opinion about the work environment, leadership and the company. Results from exit interviews are intended to be used for improving the employer-employee relationship and the employee experience with the company. Two schools of thought exist concerning exit interviews. One is that only employees who leave on their own accord will provide valuable information; however, other HR experts believe that even terminated employees have insight that's valuable to improving the workplace.
A final step in many exit policies doesn't involve the former employee. If the departing employee is going to be replaced, then the company must review the job description, talk to the former employee's supervisor about staffing needs and post the job to gauge interest from both internal and external applicants. In large organizations, a recruiting specialist may handle these duties, while smaller companies may assign someone whose expertise is in HR or office management to be in charge of securing a replacement for the former employee.
- Inspire Success: Key Processes for Employee Exit
- Quintessential Careers: Job Resignation Do's and Don't For Workers
- University of Virginia Human Resources: Exit Interview Policies and Procedure
- National Federation of Independent Business: 10 Steps for Conducting An Effective Exit Interview
- Asonye & Associates: Exit Interviews, Termination, Firing, Lay-off, Downsizing, RIF - Benefits, Severance, COBRA
- Photo Credit AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images