Handling a Runaway Employee: What Businesses Must Do

Employee running away from work
  • Early detection of potential runaway employees helps mitigate negative impacts and possibly retain the employee.
  • A departure plan, including exit interviews and knowledge transfer, ensures smooth transitions and business continuity.
  • Updates to internal systems and communication of departures maintain productivity and manage expectations.
  • Process server services can support businesses in locating runaway employees and serving them with legal documents.

Experiencing a runaway employee can pose significant challenges to a business regarding operations and finance. A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study estimates that hiring an employee costs $4,129, with around 42 days to fill a position. This does not factor in the potential loss of productivity, with a report from Gallup indicating that replacement workers are 50% less productive and 50% more likely to quit. Additionally, losing an employee can lead to decreased morale and increased workload for the remaining team members, potentially affecting the overall work environment.

As a result, businesses must learn how to handle runaway employees to minimize disruptions and damages properly. It might be challenging, but a protocol must be developed to protect the company’s interests. Here are a few steps to consider when creating such a protocol:

Identify Potential Runaway Employees

Employees getting disgruntled at work

The importance of identifying potential runaway employees cannot be overstated. Early detection can help businesses mitigate the negative impacts of sudden employee departures. Understanding the signs of a disengaged and potentially exiting employee can provide valuable time to intervene, address any issues, and possibly retain the employee.

This saves the company from the financial burden of hiring and training a replacement and preserves the team’s equilibrium. Proactively recognizing and addressing potential runaway employees’ concerns can improve the overall work environment, strengthen employee morale, and reduce turnover rates.

Discussing with the employee to identify any underlying problems is an effective way of doing this. Reviewing past performance evaluations, attendance records, and colleague feedback might also be helpful.

Create a Plan for When Employees Leave

Following process for exit interview

Developing a plan for when employees leave is crucial to maintaining business operations and minimizing the impacts of sudden departures. This plan ensures a smooth transition and safeguards the business’s interests and continuity. Here are four key steps to include in this plan:

Conduct an Exit Interview

Exit interviews provide a valuable opportunity to understand why employees are leaving. It is a platform where outgoing employees can give honest feedback about their experience with the company, potentially highlighting areas for improvement. With this insight, companies can make necessary changes to improve the work environment and prevent future employee departures.

Manage Knowledge Transfer

The departing employee might possess crucial knowledge about specific projects, clients, or processes. Therefore, it’s essential to have a process in place for knowledge transfer. This could involve documenting important information, debriefing with the replacement, or conducting training sessions. Effective knowledge transfer ensures continuity in operations and minimizes disruptions.

Update Internal Systems

Upon an employee’s departure, updating all internal systems, removing access to sensitive information, and reassigning tasks is essential. Not doing so could potentially result in data breaches or unfinished tasks. Ensuring the outgoing employee’s roles and responsibilities are covered will maintain productivity.

Communicate the Departure

Finally, communicate the employee’s departure to the team and, if necessary, to clients. This transparency will help manage expectations and mitigate any potential confusion or misunderstanding. It’s also a chance to reassure the team and maintain morale during the transition.

What Happens if the Employee Ran Away?

The company should take appropriate action if an employee runs away without notice. This could include consulting a lawyer to collect any owed wages or damages, filing an official police report, and taking other legal measures as necessary.

Sometimes, businesses might need to locate the former employee to serve them with court documents. Process server services can provide professional support in finding and doing individuals with legal documents. This service can also help companies track down former employees if they flee the state or country and provide evidence of delivery for court proceedings.

Final Thoughts

Facing a runaway employee can be a daunting experience for businesses. Nevertheless, developing an effective protocol that includes identifying potential issues and creating a plan for when employees leave is essential to minimizing disruptions and damages. Additionally, employing process server services can help businesses locate former employees and serve them with court documents if necessary. With all these steps considered, companies can safely and efficiently handle runaway employees.

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