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I have a situation that someone might be able to help me with. I have a problem employee (chronic abscences, lack of job engagement) that has decided to quit. This is best for my office and for her, as I believe termination was probably likely in the not so distant future. I'm a small office of 11 people and she has lost all credibility with her teammates.
So she's trying to do the honorable thing and move on to greener pastures and I agree it's best. How do I help her do so? She gave a one month notice but I don't think it's wise to keep her around that long. Do I offer her a severance payout of some kind and let her go immediately? Do I let her work the next month? I want to do the right thing here and let her do this in as dignified manner as possible, in spite of the anomosity for her among the staff.
Any advice would be welcome. This is a new situation for me.

maura's picture

I'd think the way you handle it boils down to this: what do you need from her before she goes? Are there projects mid-stream that she'd have to turn over to another member of your staff? Any training required for whoever is filling in for her role while you start the interview process?

I'd say some form of compromise could work - she gave a month's notice, possibly because she needs/wants those last paychecks? Meanwhile, your ship will run more smoothly once she's out, yet you may need her to work on a transition package before you can release her.

How about meeting with her to develop a plan to turn over her work and do whatever training might be required - and put a timeline on it. That timeline could be shorter than a month, and you could agree to pay her severance for the remainder of the month if it's delivered to your satisfaction?

AManagerTool's picture

I don't believe that there is any thing preventing you from asking her to leave any time that you want to after she has given notice. Why wait a month? Why give her severance at all? She quit.

HMac's picture

Not a bad situation to be in.

Some suggestions:

A. Do NOT let her stay in the unit any longer than necessary, and certainly not for entire month - where she'd be sitting among the other 11 essentially as a "free agent."

B. Any agreement you come to regarding compensation must be confidential - and she must agree to it as such. You note there's already created animosity among coworkers, and you don't want your actions to be interpreted as rewarding bad behavior.

C. At the earliest proper time, communicate directly with the rest of the unit. You certainly don't have to get into any of the details, but it makes sense to communicate that she's gone, you wish her success, and what your plan is to replace her.

With those laid out as framework for your actual decision, here's a Strawman for you and others on the board to consider:

1. Immediately meet with her and accept her resignation (don't want her to reconsider!).

2. Ask her how long she feels it will take to trasition her duties to other team members (and push for the shorter, the better - like a day or two).

3. Tell her that she will be finished as soon as the work is transitioned, and it will no longer be necessary that she show up once that's done. Offer to pay her through the week or through the pay period (your call).

4. Send her home immediately following this meeting (for the rest of the day), and meet with the unit, explaining that she will be leaving to seek other employment, that her transition will be complete on x date, that you wish her well, and you expect the team to make the tranisition professional and smooth. Depending on the circumstances, you might seek input from the unit regarding the replacement (e.g., does this provide an opportunity to reconsider the job responsibilities?)

5. With that as the plan, simply work through it graciously and professionally.

Last thought: whatever you do, act swiftly.

TomW's picture

I agree with the others.

Find out what she has to do before she leaves and only let her stick around long enough to do them.

Senior staff with lots going on might need a month. Somehow I doubt this person is in that situation. Once she's given her notice, you don't have to keep her around any longer than you feel like and you don't owe her a thing.