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Companies may think that when an employee resigns, that’s the end of employee retention. But what happens after the resignation can affect retention of other talent.

One of the biggest things companies can do after receiving an employee’s notice is to set the tone – and make sure it’s a positive tone. Something like, “Carol is moving on, and the company wishes her luck in her new position” will keep employee morale positive, as the employees staying at the company will view it as a place that treats employees well, even in departure. The company is seen as looking out for its employees’ best interests, even if that means moving to another company, and the employees feel like if they leave the company, they will be treated with respect to the end.

The resignation, timeline until the employee’s last day, and the final day itself and how the company deals with it can affect the brand and image, too. For example, when Apple Geniuses leave their positions, the rest of the staff stops and applauds for the departing employee. Not only does it show the customers, employees, and departing team member that the company values them, it also lets the employee leave on a high note and with a good final memory of Apple.

How the manager handles the resignation is also critical to employee retention. Employees change companies and positions more frequently than before, and not only can the departing employee end up being the one to interview the former manager for a new position, but a potentially great employee could be turned off by the image of that manager.

Yet there will still be times when the employee needs to be escorted out of the building immediately after giving notice. It’s something that needs to be handled delicately to keep employee morale from plummeting and affecting employee retention negatively. One thing companies can do is immediately announce the employee’s departure and explain that the situation was unique enough to require these measures can help preserve morale, as well as answering questions and diffusing rumors.

Family, moving, and a higher salary are just three reasons why employees leave. No matter what, though, employers can use an employee’s resignation as a learning opportunity, conducting an exit interview to find out if there is anything that needs changing. Companies can use the feedback given in the exit interview to make improvements or enhance the workplace.

The bottom line for companies is that they must remain positive when an employee resigns. Otherwise, employee morale can drop, and employees with low morale are more likely to leave.

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