Chapter 5


Employees will leave your organization for many reasons and a certain level of staff turnover is healthy. But, handling departures badly can cause problems for everyone involved ― and leave you with more than just a vacancy to worry about.
Did you know?
Most states have laws addressing when and how final wages must be paid. Some states require that you issue a final pay check on an employee’s last day of work. Check the laws in your local jurisdiction.


  • Failing to address (or even recognize) workplace issues that could lead to an employee leaving
  • Firing an employee on the spot in a moment of anger
  • Having no cross-training or succession plan in place when an employee announces their retirement
  • Failing to update the payroll system and benefits carriers, so an employee continues to be paid or receive benefits

Potential costs of getting it wrong

  • Wrongful termination lawsuits
  • Overpayment or underpayment of final wages or benefits
  • Reduced remaining employee morale from unresolved or mishandled employee exits
  • No one is cross-trained to temporarily or permanently fill the role

What good looks like

  • Employee issues are recognized and addressed by regularly requesting and acting on feedback
  • Automated systems work with each other to ensure former employees only get benefits they’re entitled to
  • Easy ability to revoke former employee access to key systems
  • Having a cross-training and succession program in place, at least for critical processes and positions
  • Having a record of previous job applicants and passive candidates, who may be interested in vacancies as they open, so you can expedite the replacement process