Transitioning Everyone Else

Shawnee Love   •  
June 30, 2015

Your employee has resigned.  You have done all you need to do in order to exit that employee successfully. However, there is more to this transition than the exiting employee.  Here’s a few do’s and two do not’s for transitioning the rest of the company.


  1. Use the exit as an opportunity to review operations.  Is there anything that could be more efficient?  If so, it might be a good time to change a process or revise the structure.
  2. Transfer the work.  The transfer could be short or long term.  Perhaps you already know that you will backfill the exiting person with an internal employee.  Use the notice period to train the new person if possible.  Jack Welch had this theory that if someone resigns, you needed to have an internal replacement picked and communicated within 24 hrs.  Include that new person in the transition planning discussion and get them job shadowing and helping out.
  3. Notify customers/ clients. Make sure they know that just because their point person is leaving, you still want their business.
  4. Advise all employees.  When someone leaves, other employees want to know about it.  They also want to know how that employee’s work will be handled, i.e., who they should go to and/or what the transition plan is.
  5. Monitor to ensure it goes well. Sometimes after someone resigns, motivation and attitude can deteriorate in the team that is now incorporating someone new or simply missing the departed colleague.  Get involved, remind your remaining staff of how important and appreciated they are.

It is a matter of opinion but here are two activities I would avoid:


  1. Offer more money to the exiting employee.  If you think the person is worth more, offer that money before the person resigns.  If you do it after, others will learn to resign in hopes of a raise.
  2. Host a huge going away party.  I prefer to throw parties for people who stay, not for those who go.

This wraps up our 3 part series on handling resignations.  If you have something to add to our Do/Do Not list, please comment below.