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How to Manage the Employee Lifecycle: Departure

by Stacey LinnSeptember 22, 2015 8:00 AM

Whether someone put in his or her two-week notice or needs to be fired, the exit of an employee is not an easy process. There are a number of steps that need to be taken when an employee leaves. Proper procedures can be the difference between a clean break or a messy breakup that could lead to a claim by the former employee. Here are 10 steps to take during the departure process.

Group Management Services can help guide you through the employee departure process.

1. Issue a Final Paycheck

Employees need to be paid when they’re on their way out, and it may not fall in your usual payroll cycle. State laws dictate when a departing employee needs to receive their final paycheck, but each state differs on how long you have to pay them and if you need to include unused vacation time.

2. Reimburse any Expenses

Make sure that any potential expenses – whether from travel or training – that were paid for by the departing employee are reimbursed promptly.

3. Collect Company Property

You’ll want to collect any company property from the departing employee before he or she leaves. This can include anything from company files, computers, keys, or even a car.

4. Cancel Credit Cards

You’ll want to collect company cards from departing employees, but you’ll also want to cancel the account as well

5. Deactivate Passwords

Once an employee is gone, you don’t want them going back into their accounts (especially if they were fired). Deactivate all of their passwords and accounts where applicable.

6. Arrange for Continued Benefits

Depending on the situation, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) may require you to offer continued health coverage for a specified period of time after an employee leaves.

7. Reallocate Departing Employee’s Work

You’ll need to have a plan in place to split up the departing employee’s work load when they leave. If the employee is leaving on good terms, it would be helpful to have them give the employees picking up their duties – whether short term or long term – a rundown on their projects and tasks.

8. Deal with Confidentiality and Noncompete Issues

Depending on what the employee had access to or what they worked on, you’ll want to sit down with him or her and have a discussion about confidentially agreements and obligations. You’ll also want to review how their noncompete agreement works if they signed one.

9. Delete the Employee’s Name from Documents

Once an employee is gone, that change needs to be reflected everywhere. Check documents on anything available to people outside the company and remove the departing employee’s name. Also, make sure that they are removed from the website.

10. Assign a Contact Person and Inform Key People 

You may know that your employee is leaving, but not everyone else does. Make an announcement to the rest of your office so that everyone is on the same page. You’ll also want to redirect any emails that went to his company account so that they don’t get lost. 

Assign a contact person to receive these emails – and answer any questions from the departing employee – and let key clients or customers know about the change if they’ll be directly affected.

Navigating the Departure Process with GMS

Employee turnover isn’t easy. That’s why GMS can partner with you to strengthen your HR needs, including protection from potential claims and a streamlined departure process.

You keep full control of your employees, but we can help you make those decisions – and everything that follows – easier for you and your business. Contact us today to see how Group Management Services can guide you through the departure process.

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