Friday, March 18, 2016

Is Two Weeks Notice Necessary?

This is a discussion: Should you or should you not accept an employees two weeks notice when they quit?


Amanda works in a healthcare office. She is responsible for billing patients and has just given her supervisor, Jessica, her two weeks notice. Jessica knows that she will not be able to fill Amanda's position within the next two weeks, however, she begins her search. During the next two weeks, Amanda continues with her work and talking with her co-workers. She is no longer afraid of loosing her job for what she says, so she is more open about some of her negative feelings about the office, her supervisor, and some of her co-workers. In addition, Amanda accesses the billing records of some of her family members and "settles" their open accounts. Soon after, Amanda's two weeks are up and she is no longer with the healthcare office. However, what she did during those two weeks will be felt for sometime longer. Morale is lower, there is contention in the office, and the billing records are not matching up.

Giving a two weeks notice is a courtesy and not a legal requirement. It is intended to ease the burden on an employees current employer when that employee has decided to leave. Not giving a two weeks notice could cause excessive additional responsibilities on an employees current co-workers and cause some resentment or harsh feelings.

There is room for discussion for either choice:

Giving Two Weeks Notice - By giving a two weeks notice, an employer would have time to train a permanent or temporary replacement. This is also a time of closure for many of the people who have worked together for many years. During these two weeks, an employer is usually able to gather some honest and open feedback about the position, its responsibilities, and suggestions from the employee who is leaving. However, this is also a time that could make the employer vulnerable to theft, sabotage, or creating discord among the remaining employees.

Not Giving Two Weeks Notice - By not giving a two weeks notice, an employer must quickly assign responsibilities to other employees that were not originally theirs. This would add an extra burden on each of the employees and will have a negative effect on their original responsibilities. However, many times after an employee gives their two weeks notice, their loyalty, heart, and passion for the position no longer exist. The employees mind and focus is now on their new job. The employees effort and focus will not be on their current employer.

We are back to our original question: Should you or should you not accept an employees two weeks notice?

My suggestion - In my personal experience, I have seen many scenarios of what could happen during a two weeks notice period play out. An employer needs to decide weather or not to accept an employees two weeks notice based on the individual employee and the scope of their responsibilities. If the employee has access to sensitive information or an employers does trust an employees actions, then the employer may not want to accept an employees two weeks notice. Some companies have begun taking a different route. When an employee gives their two weeks notice, and that employee falls under the category mentioned above, the employer could offer to pay the employee for the next two weeks, but tell them that their office presence is no longer necessary.

Please share your experiences and opinion on this topic by leaving a comment.

Related article:
An Effective Termination Procedure Will Help Protect Your Office



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