What to do When an Employee Resigns
Managing insurance employees and their jobs can be difficult. It all starts with finding the right employees. You need to do it again when an employee resigns. If you're blindsided by a resignation, what should you do to make sure that your insurance agency can continue running well?
When an employee tells you about a pending resignation, listen and try to understand. Don't get angry at that employee or say something that you might regret. According to Workopolis,
"No matter how unwelcome the news is for you personally, it’s important to congratulate your soon-to-be-departed employee and celebrate their accomplishments with the company."
A negative reaction can undermine your reputation as a manager and give your insurance agency a bad reputation in the field. Who knows, perhaps one day that person will be giving you a reference. Be empathetic and strive to learn something from this experience.
Some people resign for reasons that are truly personal. They don't want to share them with you. However, if you can, gather information about why the person is resigning. Can you do anything in the future to help prevent turnover? While it would be better for people to have those conversations before they decide to resign, it is possible to use their resignation to gain additional insights into how your company can become more employee friendly.
Consider How You Will Break the News
You are in charge of communication about hiring, firing, and resignations. The way you do your job is a reflection of the way that you manage the company. A resignation can feel like a crisis. How do you handle crises at your insurance agency? Think about the most appropriate way to communicate the news. You may need to talk to some people individually while sending an email announcement to others.
Know Your Notice
Resignations may present legal issues as well. What is the minimum amount of notice that an employee must give your company in order to transition out of the company? Be sure that you have established policies about resignations. If you are a larger agency, you may have an individual or a department dedicated to HR. According to The Balance,
"The boss needs to tell the employee that the first step in the resignation process is to send a letter of resignation to the Human Resources Office. This triggers all of the end of employment events necessary in an employment termination."
If the employee has wrapped up loose ends at your company and, if you would like that employee to overlap with the new employee, you may be able to convince the exiting employee to adjust their departure date. However, don't expect people to be unreasonably flexible with their departure dates if they already have a new job.
Consider Cross Training
Who knows the job? If someone is leaving on a short timeline, it may be difficult to effectively train that person through shadowing and mentorship. Structure your agency so that each person's position has a few elements that are shared by others in the company. If someone resigns, others are prepared to fill the void.
Think About Succession
You need to act in a timely manner to make plans for the transition. If the job description and duties are in good shape, you can start posting. Otherwise, you may need to take some time to reflect on potential changes to the job. Make a short term plan outlining who will take on the tasks of the person who has resigned. Make a longer-term plan for revising the job, hiring, and transitioning to a new employee into the position.
You may not feel like celebrating when one of your employees resigns, but you should. All of the employees need to have the opportunity to say goodbye to that employee. Decide how you want to celebrate that person's transition or move.
At American Agents Alliance, we understand your need to fill insurance jobs and maintain the right employees in the right positions. One of our membership benefits is access to our agency hiring services. Take a look at the many ways that American Agents Alliance can help you grow your insurance business.