As a business leader, your worst nightmare comes true. At what feels like the worst possible moment, one of your star employees puts in their two weeks notice. You feel shocked and afraid. Even though dealing with an unexpected employee resignation can be frustrating and even scary, there are some ways to make it easier.


No matter how tough it seems, it is not the end of the world. Employees leave even the best companies. Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself or being angry at the employee who resigned. Instead, gather the facts. Determine why your employee decided to resign. They might not be ready to tell you yet, but leave the door open for feedback. If you understand what went wrong, you can turn this into a good learning experience.

Be Positive

Thinking positively about the situation can help you, your resigning employee, and all of your other employees to deal with it. It will create good feelings between you and the resigning employee that may lead them to stay (if they don’t, that’s not a bad thing), bring them back to your company in the future, or at least give you a contact in a different business circle.

Being positive will also help your other employees to feel more optimistic about the future. It can encourage employees to share concerns that would, if left alone, cause them to resign. This can help your company to improve, even in this difficult time.

Respect Their Final Decision

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to stay, is up to your employee. No matter what, continue to treat your employee with respect. Don’t try to pressure them into staying. That will only create bad feelings between you and them. Tell them you are happy for them and express curiosity about their new opportunity. If they are leaving, thank them for the work they’ve done. One way you can show your appreciation is by having a farewell get together for them, if that’s plausible.

Employee resignation can be hard, but doing these things can help you to make it as positive an experience as possible.