It goes without saying that the recruitment market would grind to a standstill if people didn’t resign. After a recent CFO search we have just completed, the successful candidate, despite their seniority asked my advice on the best way to resign.
In principle I feel the key points to remember in what can be a stressful or anxious situation are to be clear, concise, respectful and professional. It is worth taking some time to ensure your message is clear in your own mind, which will allow you clearly communicate your decision.
Whilst all situations are different, personally I believe that whatever the situation it is essential to be respectful when delivering the news. Resigning with an email, leaving your resignation letter on your manager’s desk, or resigning to human resources instead of your manager could make you seem ungrateful and entitled, especially if your manager has invested a lot of time and effort into your growth. Facing your manager in person is the most respectful way to leave your job.
Also, remember your employer may be keen to keep you on, and it pays to be prepared for a counteroffer, which may involve a higher salary, improved conditions or an expanded role. While a counteroffer can be flattering, it is important to consider the situation as a whole. You need to think about your long-term career development, and how you will best pursue your long-term professional goals.
Counteroffers can be tempting, but the risks outweigh the rewards. Leave on good terms. Be honest and explain to your employer that while you loved your job, you really want a change and despite the potential opportunities of staying on, you’re even more excited about moving on.
Once you have provided your resignation and it’s all out in the open, it can be tempting to coast along until your last day. However, it pays to resist this urge. Remember, your last days will shape the final impressions you leave with your ex-employer, and it would be a shame to tarnish an otherwise stellar reputation on the basis of a few lazy last weeks.
Conversely, it is equally important to remember the same principles when accepting a resignation. Whilst it may not be the news you want to here, again you have to deal with the news head-on, respect the decision and treat the outgoing employee with respect.
After you receive a resignation email/ letter from an employee, it is vital for you to acknowledge it. This means sending an email or letter in return. In the reply, you should express regret that he/she has decided to leave, but you appreciate their hard work, respect and understand the difficult decision he/she had to make.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember your role in all of this. Your task is to protect the employer brand, be supportive and leave room for an open and honest discussion. Approaching the topic with sensitivity is vital. Keep in mind that resignation doesn’t only affect you and the employee who is leaving, it may impact your operations overall. How you convey the news to the rest of the team is also a testament to your management style and how you value your people.