2 Weeks' Notice: How To Handle an Employee Resignation
Before you start figuring out how you will cover the open position and hire someone new, you need to think about how you will handle your employee’s two weeks’ notice. In general, you have three options.
You work hard to find talented employees, and it can be frustrating and confusing if they decide to leave. At the same time, even your best employees will eventually leave your office. Maybe they have to move because their spouse got transferred, or perhaps they simply want to retire. There are other situations where your employees might have to leave because of an issue in the family.
Most employees know that they are expected to give two weeks’ notice, when possible if they decide to leave. Keep in mind that there is no law mandating that employees are required to give two weeks’ notice, but you should expect this as a common courtesy. Before you start figuring out how you will cover the open position and hire someone new, you need to think about how you will handle your employee’s two weeks’ notice. In general, you have three options.
1. Let Them Work the Two Weeks
The first option is to accept their two weeks’ notice and allow them to continue working. If you have a great relationship with your employee, and you feel like neither side is going to be broken up about the situation, having an employee work the final two weeks can be a tremendous boost to the practice. You will have time to hire someone new without having to cover an open position.
Keep in mind that this could also backfire. Even your best employees are liable to start going through the motions instead of going the extra mile to help patients and other employees. As they get closer to their last day, they might not be as productive. Mentally, your employee might already be moving on to his or her next phase of life.
If you really feel like the employee is going to continue working hard for the practice, you can let them stick around. This can also be a mental boost to the other employees, as they will know that you are treating employees well even if they resign.
2. Send Them Home Immediately and Stop Paying Them
The other option is to accept the resignation letter and send the employee home immediately. An employee who is effectively on borrowed time is a variable that you may feel like you don't have a lot of control over, so you may want to remove them from the situation. Remember that you are not necessarily required to allow an at-will employee to remain at their post for any length of time, regardless of how much notice they give you.
On the other hand, there is an obvious downside. You are now going to have an open position that does not have an obvious replacement, which is going to impact the productivity of your practice. Other employees are going to have to pick up the slack, which is going to have a significant impact on employee morale.
Furthermore, you need to think about how this is going to impact unemployment benefits. If you send an employee home right away, this could be seen as an involuntary termination, so the employee could technically claim unemployment benefits for two weeks. This is a difficult situation that can vary from state to state, so it is important to reach out to a professional who can help you. Furthermore, if you send the employee home immediately, you will effectively encourage other employees to leave without providing you with any notice at all down the road.
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3. Send Them Home Immediately, but Pay Them for Two Weeks
The last option is to send the employee home immediately but to continue paying them for two weeks. If you don't trust the employee to continue doing his or her job for the final two weeks, but you want to avoid a challenging situation, you may simply want to provide the employee with two weeks’ pay. That way, you don't risk damaging the relationship you have with your other employees.
Remember that every employee is different, and you might choose different options depending on who is resigning. Regardless, you want to keep your other employees happy and provide yourself with an opportunity to find someone new to take the position without hampering the productivity of the practice. That is where a professional can help you.
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