Preparing for an IT Employee’s Departure

April 1st, 2016

Like it or not, employees have lives outside the office. Eventually, their lives will pull them away from the office—whether to focus on family or because their career ambitions can’t be achieved with their current employer. So every business needs a plan for coping with employee resignations. Some parts of the process are common whatever the employee’s responsibilities, but there are also some steps specific to IT workers.

Finalize the logistics of the employee’s resignation. Agree on the employee’s last day of work. Two weeks is traditional and still standard, but some departing employees may have the flexibility to offer you a longer notice period if their project is at a critical point. Agree on who will announce the departure to the rest of the team; the way the news is shared can impact the morale of the employees who remain.

Plan to transition work. Identify everything the employee is working on. This can include work assigned and tracked in tools like JIRA, but almost every employee has informal responsibilities that aren’t tracked in project management tools. Decide which tasks will be completed before their last day of work and which need to be handed off to other employees. Make sure employees are cross-trained.

Gather all development artifacts. Be sure you get all work in progress from the departing employee so their efforts aren’t lost. This can mean having them check in code even if it isn’t complete; you can consider creating a new branch in your version control system so it doesn’t impact builds that pull code from the trunk.

Start looking for their replacement. Take time to think about what you want in a replacement employee. You might not simply want a replacement; you might want a person who brings a different skill set to the team or use the headcount for a different purpose. Tailor the job description so it accurately describes the responsibilities and skills of the new position.

Be sure to speak to the departing employee throughout their last two weeks. It’s almost certain you’ll have missed something during the initial planning. By checking in regularly you can make sure you find out about those items and get them handled. With good communication, you won’t discover a gap in your transition plan the day after the departing employee’s last day at work.

Working with a staffing agency can reduce the time it takes to find a replacement employee and reduce the impact after someone’s departure. InReach IT Solutions has more than 20 years’ experience helping companies find the staff they need. Contact us to learn how we can help you fill your open positions, whether you need to replace an employee who resigned or you’ve expanded headcount due to company growth.