On life…and learning

5 Things Great Employees Do After They Resign

with 11 comments

OK; so you have called it a day and have decided to move on from your current job. Just like most of us, you would also like to believe you are a ‘great employee’. All through your tenure, you were an employee held in good esteem by your organization. You had a considerably long association too. Now, you’ve just resigned and in some time you would be moving on to something new, maybe something better, something different. Great! Now, let’s serve the notice period…

In my experience of hiring thousands of people in my career, I have observed myriad, albeit strange developments in the operating patterns of both employees and employers, after the resignation is tendered and exit-formalities commence. Sometimes, these behaviours aren’t spot-on and befitting a ‘professional’.

Here are the 5 things that I think ‘truly great’ employees do after they have resigned and are serving the notice-period:

  1. A ‘Truly Great Employee’ would not speak ill of her organization, team or supervisor; she’d spread absolutely no negativity around.
  2. She won’t walk around notifying about her ‘resignation’ to all and sundry. She would discuss and allow the supervisor to plan a communication, as to ‘when, to who all and how’ and then stay true to the plan.
  3. She would not stop putting her total dedication and heart in her work, till the very last day and ensure a fair handover.
  4. She would not use the current offer to ‘bargain, just to ‘enjoy’, even when there isn’t any intention to stay. That’s just not done.
  5. She would say, ‘Thank You’ and mean it. And not just to the boss or immediate colleagues, but also to the stakeholders, to associates in other functions and the support staff. She would just not simply drop an email thank-you note while walking out, would rather walk up to all such fellow-workers and express her appreciation in person.

To my mind, that’s what ‘truly great employees’ do when they resign. And they do so even if their experience with the company and/or the manager wasn’t exactly enriching or rewarding, or even when their manager/organization starts treating them differently post resignation. They behave mature and stay committed till the last day of work and even thereafter. And by saying that, I do not mean in any way that feedback, even candid one, should not be given; in fact, one must give constructive feedback during the exit interview process. What I am stressing here is the personal conduct of the employee should remain dignified and graceful. An impactful statement I heard from a senior leader the other day, “Never let your good name be destroyed”; a great employee would stay true to these words, even in the parting days.

Have you similar or some other behaviours in people after they resign? How did you act when you tendered your last resignation? Do share…

11 Responses

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  1. I think i’d add one more point to your list. I would also expect the employee (serving the notice period) to help his/her current organisation/employer understand the reason for his/her exit. In my understanding, there are numerous reasons for an employee to quit. The employee must be vocal about his reason to exit if the reason is related to some frustration with the current employer. I am pretty sure, if one is thinking about it then there are others as well. So it is a great thing to leave the organisation by being specific about the needs that have not been met in the current role. So that the organisation can work towards rectifying it for other employees who are still working in the organisation.


    April 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    • Hi Ishha, thanks for your feedback; you have made a valid point. Constructive feedback can be captured during the exit-interview in an honest manner. All right-meaning organisations will then have necessary responsibility to act thereupon.


      April 30, 2013 at 2:27 PM

  2. Very well written Rishi. I think organizations should track such employees and stay in touch because they will go on and become great leaders. Also as one hires, look to hire folks who display these characteristics as they leave their organizations.

    Bindu Krishnan

    April 30, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    • Very true, Bindu. Such employees demonstrate leadership capabilities like maturity, restraint and calm exterior and are an asset. Moreover, such behaviors during the exit period also makes them a first choice for re-hiring decisions. I have myself re-hired some such employees, leading to mutual benefits.


      April 30, 2013 at 11:52 PM

  3. Sir you are absolutely correct, and I am agree with your written Points..but would also comment on, that these situation may take place in a healthy and normal work situation/environment and may not be applicable to all people/organization in their respective profession.

    We must respect our org but some times situation comes to individual when S/he acts in undesired manner. Say for forced resignation when company is not performing, to convey massage by management to its people during appraisal time that org balance sheet is not good, (it has become a fashion now a days you can see most of the org are doing that ), giving unnecessary pressure, placement of wrong candidate in wrong position/place, wrong commitments and so.. so many other reasons.

    Sir I have gain rich experience and saw the changes in people psychology towards the org, I wont name the org but I can say that if a person is doing some anti org act against the desired act means something wrong is going on somewhere..

    Sir no one want to be blacklisted or no one want to leave the org with a bad impression every people looks for the good, healthy, growing, challenging and a long term relationship with employer..

    In Indian context, its a great challenge, in Sales/Service or Marketing Organization rather than manufacturing industries. (where people changes avg- 8-10+ org in other industries where as people working in a manufacturing changes max 3-5 but surly not 8-10 org (exceptions are always there) why…??

    I would say, you have touched a very sensitive topic once again, as all the industries/business are suffering with it..need to find out solution too..??

    Sir-What is your view on this and how to prevent these acts if happens…?

    Shashikant Singh

    May 2, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    • Shashi, thanks for writing in and sharing your thoughts. My current blog features an event of an employee’s conduct while resigning from a job and is restricted to the same issue. You have raised some other issues that need further discussion in a separate forum and are outside the purview of this blog.


      May 2, 2013 at 11:53 AM

  4. RRG this is so very true..as they say never burn bridges. One question which plagues my mind is how do you handle a few of your peers/ colleagues who are bent on tarnishing your reputation since you have decided to move on. This is in spite the fact that you want to put your best foot forward and contribute till your last day.


    July 28, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    • Ajit, as I wrote too, the employee who is moving on must stay focused. If she has done good work and is not being reciprocated at the exit by the organization, (that includes peers too), she needs to keep her own sanity and not give in to temptations of giving it back. That, to my mind, is the best response.


      July 29, 2013 at 12:10 AM

  5. Reblogged this on RRGwrites and commented:

    What did you do when you resigned from your last job?


    July 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

  6. What about when you are leaving due to a boss who treated you badly?

    No legal case but every bone in my body would struggle to live by your guidelines when you have to fight every urge to stay ‘neutral’.


    February 11, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    • Now, that is really difficult and I agree with your emotions. That said, no point fighting when you have already decided to move on, in my view. Give your candid feedback to the skip-level and human resources. If the organisation sees merit and is authentic enough to act, it will. That’s a professional retribution.


      February 12, 2016 at 1:16 AM

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