One thing both employers and employees have never appreciated is that an employment relationship is not "permanent" and is never meant to be permanent because the business environment is dynamic.
If an employee comes with a resignation to your desk, you do not need to persuade them to stay. If they were genuine about whatever concerns they have they would have discussed this with you without the threat of a resignation. Once you get a resignation letter acknowledge it quickly and wish them well in their future endeavours. Effectively I am saying do not counter offer when an employee resigns no matter how good they are. You will ways find a replacement. In any case never rely on one employee to do a critical job in your organisation. Always develop other people who can assume any role in your organisation at any given time. Invest a lot in developing a multi- skilled team to deal with any challenge your organisation may face.
Employees who use a threat of a resignation to bargain for a better remuneration package are not good for your organisation. I believe all genuine employees will negotiate in good faith and if you can't agree so be it. If an employee brings a resignation letter as a threat accept the resignation and ensure they are out whenever they are ready to leave. There is no need to be vindictive by putting very difficult conditions for them to leave. Remember each resignation is an opportunity to renew your organisation.
You can look at other bright and capable people within your organisation to take over when such people leave. So when they leave you must hold a party in honour of what they contributed to your organisation during their service to your organisation. There are lots of positive aspects to a resignation. Only immature managers try to harass the employee after the resignation.
It's also a bad policy to rehire people who have left your organisation. It is advisable to rehire previous employees if they left to pursue further studies and they left after fulfilling their contractual obligations. In a country where we have so much talent that is waiting to be developed why should you recycle employees? This belief that some employees are irreplaceable has destroyed some organisations. You must make sure that your employees know that each and every one of them can be replaced the same day. This will force you to develop enough talent. Some organisations have been caught off guard when employees resign to such an extent that they literarily beg the employee to give them more time to look for a replacement.
It is also important to note that when employees resign and join other organisations and you have been treating them well they will spread the goodness of your brand. Looking at the bigger picture, you must also remember that when employees whom you have well-trained join other organisation they are seeking an opportunity to even contribute more to the development of the country. Effectively you train your staff so that they can contribute to the development of the country irrespective of the organisation they work for.
If you take this approach you should never be aggrieved when an employee resigns. The same employee may be your customer in the future so why should you harass them when they want to further their career elsewhere. You should be very proud of yourself when your employees go out in other organisations and excel.
It is also important to note that in the current environment very few employees actually give the required notice period. We have however seen organisations that force employees who no longer belief in your brand and what you to serve the notice period. If you force your employee to serve the notice period when they want to leave immediately you may harm your business than protect it. How can an employee whose mind is elsewhere give hundred percent to your cause. We are seeing more frequently people resigning with immediate effect without giving the required notice. Do not be vindictive. If you were prepared that any of your employees can leave anytime you should be able to let them go. Do not harass them or tell them to leave immediately. Ask them when they would want to leave and allow them to leave. It is a sign of good leadership and preparedness to allow people to leave your organisation whenever they want to without strict conditions.
Normally people will resign once they have exhausted their leave days so you may not be able to recover anything from their terminal benefits. It is a fact of life, we have to live with.
We have also seen some bosses haunting the employee once they leave the organisation by saying bad things about your subordinate. These bad things are said to both people within the organisation and those in the new organisation where this particular employee now works. It is a sign of leadership immaturity to be petty to that extend. You should be able to wish your employee well wherever they are going.
So the message is you must be able to celebrate when your employees tendered their resignation.
Memory Nguwi is the Managing Consultant of Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number 077 2356 361 or e-mail: