Business continuity planning isn’t something that every business owner thinks about until it’s too late. The Great Resignation will happen, and the first you know about it is when employees start quitting left and right without notice or warning, stealing your proprietary information along with them. Whether or not this has happened to you yet, here are seven steps to ensure business continuity during the Great Resignation so that it doesn’t happen again to you.
Step 1: Think Ahead
The first step to ensuring continuity during a mass resignation is to think ahead. This means you need to have a plan in place before any resignations occur. You should start by meeting with HR and creating an offboarding checklist for employees. This checklist should include things like transferring knowledge, reassigning tasks, and transitioning employees.
The next step is to begin building your team in advance. Hiring a member of your existing team is great, but if you don’t have anyone available then start reaching out to recruiters and employment agencies that can assist with filling open positions quickly. When considering candidates for new roles, make sure you are consistent with your hiring process so that there’s no difference between how you hire employees currently and how you will hire during resignations. This will help boost employee morale in anticipation of an upcoming resignation and will ensure continuity of the onboarding process during a mass resignation as well.
Step 2: Manage Your Team
If you have a team of employees, it’s important to manage them well during this time of change. First, keep communication open. Let your staff know what’s going on and what changes to expect. Next, make sure you’re using your departing employee’s time wisely. Juggling resignations can be tricky, but it’s important to make sure everyone is still productive. Finally, try to influence employee retention by implementing project management and HR automation tools. This will help keep your team organized and increase productivity.
It’s also important to make sure your employees feel like they’re still getting their work done even though someone is leaving. Let them know that working from home is an option, and encourage employees who have demonstrated dependability and reliability in their tasks over time to make suggestions for how you can continue moving forward smoothly during a period of transition. Team building with each team member’s strengths in mind is key here. For instance, you might need someone who works quickly while remaining efficient and accurate to take on additional responsibilities during staff transition periods but not necessarily permanently. That way, team members can stay engaged throughout a changing environment without having added responsibility placed on them for too long a period.
Step 3: Keep Your Clients Informed
As a business owner, it’s important to keep your clients in the loop – especially if you have a key player on your team who is leaving. While you don’t need to go into detail about the resignation, letting your clients know that there will be a transition period is important. This way, they can be prepared for any potential service disruptions. And if you have a solid plan in place, it will show them that you’re still committed to providing them with the best possible service – even during difficult times.
Another key part of communicating with your clients is letting them know that they can reach out to you if they have any questions or concerns. Set up a point of contact and be available through various methods, including social media, email, and phone calls. Your business may also want to consider setting up a help desk or FAQs page on your website for any client concerns that can’t be addressed by other means.
Step 4: Communicate with the Media
As a company, it’s important to have a media relations strategy for when an employee resigns. The first step is to decide who will be the spokesperson for the company. This person should be someone who is articulate and has a good relationship with the media. Once you have decided on a spokesperson, it’s important to craft a statement that is positive and paints the company in a good light. It’s also important to remember that the departing employee is still part of your team and their time should be respected. Finally, make sure you have an onboarding checklist for new employees so that they can hit the ground running.
Try to include some team-building quotes as well as quotes from successful entrepreneurs to inspire them during this difficult transition. Encourage all employees to reach out if they need help or just want to talk about how things are going. Communicate with staff: If possible, find a way to let everyone know what’s happening and how long until operations return to normal. Staff will appreciate knowing what’s going on. Departing Employee’s Time: Let the departing employee use up all of their vacation days before they leave, especially if it takes more than 30 days after the departure date for them to do so through HR (if applicable). Onboarding Checklist for Employees: Make sure you have everything you need at hand – resources like relevant documents, key contacts, and training opportunities must be available immediately following any departure. Do not forget this crucial last step!
Step 5: Transfer Tasks That Take Longer Than 2 Weeks
As the departing employee’s time comes to an end, there may be some tasks that will take longer than two weeks to complete. To ensure continuity, it is important to transfer these tasks to another team member or department.
Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Inform your team of the situation and ask for volunteers to take on the additional work.
- If you have a hard time finding volunteers, consider offering extra compensation for taking on the extra workload.
- Once you have found someone to take on the additional work, provide them with all the necessary information and training so they can hit the ground running.
- Give your team a timeline for when you would like them to take over for your departing employee and follow up on that date to ensure everything is running smoothly.
- Remember that if it is a significant task, you may need to repeat steps 1-4.
Step 6: Consider Short-Term Contractors
In some cases, it may make sense to hire a short-term contractor to fill in during the departing employee’s time. This can help to ensure that there is no lapse in coverage and that your business can continue to run smoothly. Of course, you will want to be sure that the contractor is qualified and has the necessary skills. But if you do your homework upfront, this can be a great way to maintain continuity during a time of transition.
As you weigh your options, it’s important to remember that a key benefit of hiring a short-term contractor is that you can bring them on without making a long-term commitment. This can be especially useful if your business isn’t experiencing growth. And if you need someone for longer than planned, then all you have to do is have them stay on another month or so. For example, if your departing employee only gives notice a month before leaving, using contractors will allow you time to interview and select new employees. Of course, some contractors may require severance agreements just like regular employees—so be sure to check what’s appropriate in your area and whether they are required by law in your industry.
Step 7: Capture knowledge before it walks out your door
As your departing employee’s time comes to an end, it is crucial to have a plan in place to capture all of the knowledge and institutional memory they are taking with them. Your departing employees will be going through an emotional roller coaster. They will feel fear about leaving their work behind, but also relief that their job search process is over. To make sure you get the most out of this window for capturing knowledge, assign someone from within your organization who has built relationships with departing employees to be responsible for filling out exit interviews for each person. You can also reach out to other managers or teammates who may know more about a departing employee’s role or expertise so that information can be captured as well.
There are a variety of exit interview options, including surveys and questionnaires. Some companies allow departing employees to complete an exit survey online, which may be convenient for them. Other companies prefer paper-based forms that they can store in a folder or binder. Regardless of what method you choose, try to make sure that everyone who leaves your organization goes through an exit interview process so that you can capture knowledge at every opportunity. If you collect survey results from employees on an ongoing basis, you will have insights into how well your company is doing for years after these specific people have left.
No matter how amicable the departure, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place for when an employee leaves. This ensures that there is no interruption in service and that your customers are taken care of.