Once employees tenders their resignation, how much longer should they stay in the office, and how should they be treated? Human Resources finds out from three HR professionals.
■ Lynda Fan
Normally, we ask line managers to evaluate the situation in terms of the length of time they want to give. While the normal notification length is one month, we do allow notified employees to stay around longer. Because in Singapore, transition might take a longer period for them so we give allowances.
By and large, we look at the confidentiality levels of the function or the particular role. If it’s very operational and has very little or low risk, we let them stay around. We would have transition plans in place so they won’t be sitting around doing nothing. If the employee is in a customer fronting position, we would not want to encourage one month. We have notification period of one day for certain employees because their managers foresee some risks or they find there’s no point in asking the person to stay on for too long. The morale is not good for that individual. If that person is not going to be motivated or worse affect others, then it is not going to be pleasant. If the person’s job has high risks such as holding a lot of information of the customers, we do not want to risk that either.
There are cases where employees still want to carry on working. So it is more of understanding the nature of the job and the requirements for it.
■ Jonas Ang
Vice president, human resources, Asia Pacific
In Singapore, notification periods are determined in accordance to all legal requirements set by the Ministry of Manpower. It also depends on the perceived criticality of the role, and how much time and resources the organisation needs to find a replacement.
The notice period also depends on what was agreed upon in the contract.
In any exit notification, employers must prepare and assemble all written documentation regardless of whether the job termination is performance-related or due to job elimination (such as retrenchment or rightsizing).
Job exits, if not managed professionally, fairly and carefully, can lower the morale of both existing and exiting staff. In some cases, it can lead to unfavorable reactions from labor ministries, trade unions or jeopardize employees’ engagement and confidence with the company. Disgruntled employees may approach the media to air their grievances, potentially affecting the employer’s brand.
it is critical not to burn bridges during the exit process as maintaining good relationships always helps in the long run. Exiting employees can still become brand ambassadors if treated in the right manner upon their departure.
■ Cindy Tan
Director, people & capability management
The notice period here is cut by varying levels, so executives, managers and management have a different length of notice, because the complexities of the roles are different, and handing over of job responsibilities requires a different complexity. For some who have to leave on compassionate grounds such as health or family, then we might consider waiving the notice.
When a person has given us a notice, we will start to think about the hand-over. We don’t cut a person off and will continue to engage the person until the last day. We want to continue to play that role with that employee as we believe in goodwill parting.
Some employees maintain their professionalism after tendering, continuing to do their jobs and taking the initiative to come up with the handover list. I call these “model employees”, and they are great.
On the other end of the spectrum there are employees who, after tendering, are totally not interested in their work anymore. You see them not completing their tasks, or not coming to work because of medical reasons or taking urgent leave. To me it’s about open communication. Maybe the person has asked for his notice to be cut short or waived, so that becomes a choice that we have. How are we going to waive the notice? To mitigate such risks, you have to be very proactive as an organisation. You can’t wait for the situation to reach a point where you realise that the employee is not going to do a hand-over.
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