What do Jerry Maguire, Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Devil Wears Prada, and American Beauty have in common? They all taught us how to dramatically quit our terrible jobs. An employee furiously comes into the office, slams the door, yells “That’s enough, I quit,” and preferably insults the boss. Then they walk out of the office and slam the door once again, while their coworkers high-five them. The end of the story.
That sounds awesome, but in reality, it doesn’t work this way. Once an employee announces that they’re leaving their job, they will need to handle a bunch of paperwork and even work out a notice period. Simply put, there is a strict resignation protocol every departing employee needs to respect. And, that’s exactly where an HR team steps in.
The HR department makes sure an employee’s resignation goes as smoothly as possible. They need to know whether the employer has complied with all labor laws and whether the rights of an employee are protected during the resignation period.
In real life, an employee cannot immediately quit their job and leave the building. This is just another stereotype. They need to notify the employer of their decision at least one week in advance and, once they do so, they need to submit a letter of resignation to the HR office.
This is a brief letter written by a departing employee, used to announce to human resources, superiors, and colleagues their intent to terminate the contract with the company. It’s polite to send the letter of resignation out in advance. The format of the letter depends on the reason why a person quits a job. To make sure that the letter is properly written, an employee could use an online template or even consult an HR manager to help them create it.
The majority of employers have their departing employees meet with someone from the HR team for an exit interview. Even though an exit interview can also be in a written form, most HR managers prefer conducting it in person.
A departing employee’s feedback may become a rich source of information for a company’s development. An employee will frankly point out what the most common problems they faced were, giving a company the opportunity to reduce the employee turnover, cut the costs related to the turnover, and boost the overall workplace morale.
This is why an HR manager usually starts with the light conversation to make an employee feel comfortable. Their main goal is to reassure an employee that no problems will arise from an honest discussion. They also need to explain that the information they obtain will be used to help retain valued employees, in accordance with HR confidentiality.
It is the HR office that usually manages employees’ payroll. The same goes for the so-called termination pay or notice pay. Namely, it needs to be calculated in accordance with the circumstances of the resignation. The notice pay is not based on an employee’s salary solely. On the contrary, it is calculated with the reference to an employee’s remuneration, meaning that it includes their salary plus overtime, penalty rates, loadings, and bonuses.
If any problems arise, they need to handle them, as well. For instance, if a terminated employee believes that the number of hours on their final paycheck is incorrect. The HR manager needs to find out whether the claim is true and make the corrections needed.
Today, the number of companies investing in employee retention. This is exactly why an HR manager needs to review the reason for the resignation. They need to determine whether the termination of the contract was due to the working conditions, the fault of an employer, or simply an employee’s incompatibility with their team.
Most importantly, they need to check whether their rights are protected during the process of resignation. For example, if an employee qualifies for the continuation of benefits, an HR manager needs to inform them about it.
There are numerous anti-discrimination laws that prohibit terminating an employee based on their nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. And, an HR manager needs to ensure the compliance with the laws like these and document if they have been violated, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Also, if an employee has violated the company’s policy, they need to take necessary steps. For example, if an employee doesn’t want to sign papers or if they make threats to the employer or the HR team, they need to document these actions and ensure the safety of the rest of the team.
As you can see from the previous examples, an HR team is immensely important for every company, irrespective of its size. In the process of resignation, they need to conduct the exit interview, do all the paperwork, and be familiar with all employment laws and regulations. Most importantly, they need to dedicate themselves to protecting the employees’ rights and make sure that the termination of the contract doesn’t mean burning all bridges between an employee and the company.
Alex Williams is a journalism graduate and a blogger. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor to Bizzmark Blog. You can follow Alex on Facebook and Twitter.