Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

How to Handle Receiving a Two Week Notice

For quite some time it has been general practice for employees to give their employers a two weeks notice if they plan to leave the company. This gives you, the employer, time to plan ahead and get started on the hiring process. It’s also just considered common courtesy for an employee to let their employer know that they will be leaving. When employees don’t do it, it can burn bridges and place a smudge on their resume. However, what if you don’t want your employee to stay the entire two weeks? When an employee gives you their two weeks notice, what are your options as an employer?

If you had a good working relationship with this employee and they are simply leaving because they found another job, are going back to school or are moving then the fact that they are putting in their two weeks notice shouldn’t be a difficult situation to handle. On the other hand, when employees leave or quit it’s not always on the best of terms. Many employers question whether or not they actually want this person to stay in their office for another two weeks if they are no longer motivated or care to work there.

If you have an employee that put in their two weeks notice and you fear that they will bring the overall morale of the team down during those two weeks, don’t just force them to leave. First off, if you force them to leave when they notify you then this employee may now be eligible for unemployment. With the amount of people today that are on unemployment, and with the job market in shambles, it’s likely that a jaded employee would take advantage of your decision to make them leave right away.

That’s not the only drawback though. If this employee gave you a two weeks notice and you told them to just leave then, other employees are going to notice. They will see that their coworker did the right thing but were asked to leave right away. After witnessing this, your other employees will likely think twice before they give you a two weeks notice. Instead, they just might up and leave without more than an hour notice. This is definitely something you don’t want. Plus, your company probably has a policy set in place for handling these kinds of situations. Going back on company policy looks bad on you and can make for a tense environment.

Instead of throwing this employees two weeks to the wind and forcing them to leave right away, you should simply accept their leave. If you are concerned that they will mess with the morale of your office during those two weeks or will goof off, then you can let them know that they do not have to stay the entire two weeks. Let them know they will be paid for the two weeks, but that they do not have to come into the office. It may seem like they are getting off super easy, but paying two weeks of this employee’s compensation will be better than two years of the unemployment you may have to pay if you force them to leave.

Of course not all employees that choose to leave your company are going to compromise the office and their work. A good number of employees will gracefully leave and finish their two weeks as they normally would. The same can’t be said for all employees though, so be sure you are dealing with situation the right way and cover all of your bases.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Human Resources

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter