How to Minimize the Effects of an Employee Resignation in Your Veterinary Practice
Every veterinary practice will, at some point, have employees quit. Most of the time, this is a relatively routine process, meaning that the individual in question has simply found a new job or decided they no longer want to work with animals. Sometimes, however, this can be a huge problem.
If an employee resigns for a particularly problematic reason, the effects of an employee's resignation on your business can be significant and present a major challenge to your veterinary practice.
How to respond to an employee's resignation becomes absolutely critical as an employer and veterinary practice owner. As such, here are three situations when a resignation may put your practice at risk and how you can minimize the negative effects of employee resignation.
Consider These 3 Situations:
1. Taking Employees Off of the Schedule Before Their Official End Date
If an employee is quitting, you may think that taking them off of the schedule before they formally quit is a
good way to accelerate the process. However, this can lead to major problems if you don't manage it the right way. By simply cutting off employment early, the resignation becomes a termination since the employment is now ended by the employer in this case. This can lead to HR challenges and potential changes in both paperwork and unemployment benefits.
To be clear, you can do this. However, if you decide to do so, you will want to pay the employee for the time leading up to the resignation date should you choose to have it remain as a resignation. Otherwise, you will have to classify the separation as a termination, and this may result in a variety of potential challenges. This is one of the many reasons that learning how to respond to an employee's resignation is so important.
2. Creating a Hostile Environment Leading the Employee to Involuntarily Quit, also known as "Constructive Discharge"
When it comes to how to respond to an employee's resignation, one of the worst things you can do is be told that they quit as a result of a hostile work environment. As such, any issues about the employee should be strictly limited to job performance issues and places where they have failed to meet job expectations.
You will also need to make sure you do not retaliate against the employee for any perceived problems. If there are performance issues, you cannot cut or reduce hours, reassign work, or create a hostile work environment that makes life inconvenient or otherwise problematic for the employee. Doing so may be considered a constructive discharge. A constructive discharge is what occurs when you make the work environment so hostile that an employee feels as if they have no choice but to quit. Repeatedly giving difficult jobs, long hours, or making their life intentionally difficult by unexpectedly changing shifts are examples of behaviors that can lead to a claim of constructive discharge.
Furthermore, if there are performance issues, one of the most critical methods of how to respond to an employee's resignation is to document them. Fortunately, HR for Health has the software that allows you to do so.
3. Any Type of Workplace Harassment
There is no question that workplace harassment is unacceptable in any form. If an employee quits due to harassment, you could create major problems for your veterinary practice and open yourself up to legal liability.
If you hear a complaint, you must take action and document the complaint immediately. You need to follow the appropriate complaint procedure, even if the employee is quitting. That procedure should be documented in your employee handbook, and you must stick to it. You also must ensure that your harassment policy is up to date with the latest laws and regulations. Finally, be sure to stay up to date with any training requirements as per your state’s rules.
If you don't have a handbook, we can help you create one.
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Create an Employee Resignation Process
By creating a formal employee resignation process, you can minimize the negative effects of an employee resignation and learn how to respond to an employee resignation. Doing so in a professional and legally compliant way can ensure that you are minimizing your legal exposure.
First, make sure that you request a formal resignation letter from the employee and respond as soon as possible in writing, accepting the resignation. You will also want to ensure that you and your employee complete the required documents for the separation. This includes formal documentation of the change in relationship, information on the breakdown of the employee’s final pay, and acknowledgment from the employee that they have been paid all that they are owed. Fortunately, HR for Health has such forms available for you. These forms are also customized based on the needs and requirements of your state.
Finally, you should conduct an exit interview. Utilize this interview to allow the employee a safe place to provide feedback on things that are going well and things that require your attention. By doing so, you can demonstrate that you are acting in good faith to learn more about what happened at your veterinary practice, why your employee is quitting, and if there are any immediate issues that you must address. This is not only good for your practice but can help protect you from a legal perspective.
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Steps to Help Minimize the Negative Effects of a Resignation
Learning how to respond to an employee's resignation can protect your business and stop you from getting sued.
As noted above, make sure that all of your paperwork is lined up and that you have all of the material and keys back from the employer
Conduct an exit interview that gives you a better idea of why they are leaving and if there is anything you can do to make your environment better for the next new hires.
Finally, make sure you are speaking with legal or HR experts — like those at HR for Health — to ensure that you have done everything you need to minimize the negative effects of employee resignation.
How HR for Health Can Help
The effects of an employee's resignation on your veterinary practice can be hugely problematic. If you don't know how to respond to an employee's resignation, you may find yourself in a situation where your employees do not feel valued by you. This can hurt morale, damage job performance, and lead to additional resignations.
Thankfully, by working with HR for Health, you can minimize these issues. We can help you craft an employee handbook, store all documents that are related to employees, and help provide you with forms and templates that are necessary to ensure that you are appropriately responding to employee resignation. We also have experts on staff that can make sure you are dealing with difficult HR situations the right way.
Ready to learn more? HR for Health is here to help. Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation, fifteen-minute consultation and learn more about how HR for Health can protect your practice. We can help you learn how to respond to an employee resignation and make sure that your practice is not disrupted.