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Change Happens… just say “BYE”

Thoughts from Sandye Linnetz, Systems Goddess, Process Prodigy

Employees come... and employees go... Sometimes that's good news. Sometimes losing a key employee is devastating. Regardless of how the loss is felt, it is still stressful to "reduce", "replace" and "regroup". Hate to sound like a bloggin' broken record, but having good systems in place will truly minimize the down time and confusion that comes with changes in personnel. So... regarding the employees who "depart" and those who remain behind...

Deal Out Responsibilities
Determine who will take on the responsibilities of the exiting employee. In advance of leaving - if possible - have the departing employee discuss the status of current clients, on-going work, pending projects, sales or problems. Before the employee actually leaves, set up brainstorming sessions with the departing employee and your team to discuss how tasks can be delegated or reassigned. The rule is: when possible, don't wait until the employee is gone to begin planning. Ask for and invite volunteers. These are generally the people who will get the job done for you. Always make sure that everything is well documented.

Maintain Security
Make sure that no company property or files leave with the employee. Collect and record the collection of: company car, keys and security cards, company credit cards, long distance cards, rolodex, computers, cell phones, company manuals, client lists/ contact information and confidential company files. Don't forget to contact credit card and phone companies and to contact any appropriate vendors who may be affected by the change. And, if possible and when deemed necessary, change door locks, computer passwords and combinations.

Be sure to remove the departing employee's name from anything available to people outside of your company -- such as flyers, business cards, stationery, brochures, or your website. Also delete the employee from phone rosters, routing slips, and email groups.

Debrief the employee on any confidential company information or trade secrets and review any signed or implied non-disclosure, non-compete or non-solicitation agreements. You may even want to request that the departing employee sign an agreement just prior to leaving.

Pay As They "Go"...
Know your state laws. Find out what must be paid and by when. Deliver that final paycheck in a timely manner. Reimburse any money that the employee has paid out of pocket for company related expenses.
If you have been giving benefits, there may be some that you are required to continue - although the ex-employee may be required to pick up the payments. For accurate information on the laws in your state, contact your state labor board.

Maintain Contact
Note any changes in contact information (you will, most likely, have taxes and other details to handle later). The departing employee may have questions or need information after leaving the company. If the employee left on good terms there may be questions about getting a reference, signing up for continuing benefits, or other financial issues. Make sure that a point person is assigned to handle all of these issues.

And, of course, keep things as pleasant as possible. A disgruntled ex-employee is not what anyone wants or needs!

Exercise the System
As always, have a system in place for dealing with employee departure. When you have developed and implemented an effective system, you will not have the added stress of "winging it" each time someone retires, quits, gets fired or takes a leave of absence. You and your team (present and future) will know exactly what to do.

Change Happens...with a good system in place to handle it, you'll save time, aggravation and even money!

© 2007 Beth Schneider.
Want to reprint this article? Feel free as long as you include the following: "Beth Schneider, Chief Infopreneur of Process Prodigy, is a business process consultant who helps solo-entrepreneurs, small business owners and network marketers who want to systemize their business to increase profits, increase productivity and grow their business without having to give up the family oriented, flexible, balanced lifestyle they desire. Beth works one-on-one with her clients, offers home study courses, and teleclass boot camps. For more information visit www.processprodigy.com and sign up for your FREE 5-Step Process Starter Kit
and FREE Process Tips. Also, visit Process Prodigy's family sites www.YourBusinessMachineBasics.com and www.MadeItToAMillion.com


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