In any business that lasts more than a few months, a resignation is an inevitable — and sometimes healthy — part of a company’s lifecycle.
Turnover rates vary widely by industry, so it’s good to look at your industry for a benchmark on what “healthy” turnover means. In general, however, some amount of turnover can be helpful for your business, providing new opportunities for growth and progress.
Whether a resignation comes as a shock or feels like a long time coming, the best course of action is to be formal and courteous as your employee transitions to the next phase of their career.
Ready to begin? Download our sample resignation acceptance letter.
Dealing with a Resignation
The "two weeks notice" rule, while ubiquitous, is more practice than a rule when it comes to at-will employment. At-will employment relationships don’t require employees to give notice of their resignation, though asking employees to give two weeks notice has come to be a standard practice for a variety of reasons, including planning workflow after the departure of an employee.
Customize your own resignation acceptance letter with our sample Word doc.
As Justworks’ own HR Consultant Moses Balian points out, this is important for employers to note. Why?
“Employers aren’t required to continue the employment relationship through the term of notice. They are welcome to terminate the employment relationship days sooner, or even immediately. In these situations, the termination generally retains its status as ‘voluntary,’” Moses said.
Acknowledge the resignation in an email, letter, or other writing in order to formally and unambiguously identify the last day of work.
Employers are also welcome to ask the employee to stay on longer, and employees sometimes agree to do so. Again, this helps with planning for workflow after the employee separates from employment. Regardless, it's important to acknowledge the resignation in an email, letter, or other writing in order to formally and unambiguously identify the last day of work.
Moses added that for resigning employees, the "two weeks notice" rule is still an excellent standard.
“Providing less notice, while certainly permissible, can demonstrate a lack of regard for the company's operations,” he said. “You want to be confident that you'll receive a glowing (or at worst, neutral) recommendation from a former employer, right?”
Next Steps: Resignation Acceptance Letter
Once you’ve received a formal resignation, a resignation acceptance letter will allow you to achieve several goals:
- Officially acknowledge your employee’s resignation and allow both them and you to save it for any necessary records.
- Set expectations for the employee about what they should anticipate before they leave.
- Create next steps and hard dates for offboarding tasks, like returning an office ID or laptop.
As a reminder, make sure to clear your resignation acceptance letter with a lawyer before sending sensitive documents to an employee. Employment laws vary across the country, and there may be specific language that must be present in the letter, depending on applicable law.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.