What To Do Immediately When An Employee Leaves Your Company

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What a manager should do immediately when an employee leaves a company

Pandemic or not, it’s inevitable. One day an employee will leave your company for good. Staff turnover is a fact of life in today’s business world so you need to know what to do when that employee leaves.

Be it by his choice or yours, you must be prepared to act immediately to smooth the transition. If you don’t, your own lack of action could cause irreparable damage to your company in terms of lost customer goodwill and, more importantly, lost sales.

Let me give you some examples. I have been trying to track down a billing issue with a company for over a month.  After sending yet another follow up email to my account manager today, I finally received a response.  It started out by saying “So-and-So is no longer with our company…” 

The first thing that crossed my mind was how long has So-and-So been gone, and more importantly, how long have emails from his customers been going unanswered.

This reminded me of a time when I ran into an ex-colleague who said, “I was really getting upset with you.  I was trying to solve a customer’s admin problem.  I left you voice mail messages for weeks before someone happened to mention that you were no longer with the company.”

Situations like these are very frustrating to both your internal and external customers.  Not only can you lose them forever, the frustrating part of it is that their loss was completely preventable!

6 Tasks Every Manager Should Do When an Employee Leaves the Company

When an employee leaves your company, here are 5 tasks that every manager should do immediately. 

When I say immediately, I do not mean within the week, I mean the same hour, or at the very least, the same day.

  1. Set an auto-responder on the ex-employee’s email address stating that the employee is no longer with the company and who the customer should contact now.  Just deleting the email address all together will only create an automated undeliverable email message and create further frustration.
  2. Change the ex-employee’s voice mail message stating the same as the automated email message.  Also, ensure that you change both the office phone voice mail, as well as the message on the company provided cell phone.
  3. Send an internal email memo to all employees in your company stating that the employee is no longer with the company and who will be handling his accounts until a replacement is found.
  4. Change all the office locks and security codes that the employee had access to.
  5. Change all passwords to all computer programs that the employee had access to.
  6. Remove their user rights to any company social media profiles they may have had access to.

Plan for Their Replacement

Your to-do list shouldn’t stop when the employee leaves, however. You also need to have a plan to replace them, and this plan should be ready to spring into action on a moment’s notice.

Does your human resources department have a potential database of candidates on file so you can start interviewing immediately, or are you better off using a recruiting firm? Do you have a qualified firm at the ready? Do they have a proven track record and expertise in your industry and the job function you need filled? A recruiting firm that specializes in engineering is no more qualified to recruit your potential sales reps than you are; they are just much more expensive.

As I said before, it’s inevitable.  One day a sales representative will leave your company for good.  The best managers are not surprised by it, they plan for it. In fact, you may be asking yourself is it time to fire that non-producing sales rep right now. 

Remember, as Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” More motivational quotes here.

Aim Higher!

Susan A. EnnsB2B Sales Coach and Author
Schedule a free sales coaching strategy session with Susan here.

“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”

For a free copy of our white paper How To Recruit The Best Sales Professionals, visit the B2B Sales Connections Free Download Centre.

This article was also published with permission on the GDH Consulting Blog and by the Canadian Institute of Management.

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