It’s an unwritten, but mostly followed, rule: If an employee switches jobs, a two weeks notice is given. It’s kind of a courtesy to let the employer know that they want to end things amicably.
Originally, the point of the two weeks notice was to give a company enough time to replace the employee, train someone else, pass on any knowledge and finish up projects. In an ideal world, that sounds great.
The problem? First, when an employee leaves unexpectedly, two weeks is usually not enough time to replace the employee. And then definitely not enough time to get the new hire trained as well. No matter which way you look at it, it’s hard on a company and its people when an employee leaves.
In an ideal (but typically unrealistic) world where two weeks IS enough time to get the new hire up to speed, then two weeks notice is great.
But there are some situations when allowing the employee to leave early can be beneficial for both of you. Here are three situations when you should consider cutting the strings:
· If the employee has already disengaged. If the employee is distracted and chatting up other coworkers, then it’s just distracting everyone else. Sometimes the employee is telling everyone about that “greener pasture” they found and planting seeds in the rest of your people. If their head is already at the new job and there’s not a lot they can do here but say farewell, you might as well say farewell right away.
· When the employee’s work is highly sensitive. If the employee has “access to highly confidential information or essential production equipment” and you are worried they don’t hold the same loyalty to the company, then it’s not a bad idea to decline their two-weeks offer.
· If the employee is in between projects. It doesn’t make sense to keep an employee on if they’ve already wrapped up projects and can’t dive into new ones. You can just encourage the employee to take some down time or let them know you don’t mind their leaving early if their new employer would like them to start sooner.
Some companies may consider paying for those “two weeks” when you tell the employee it’s not necessary to stay as a way to keep up morale. Remember, your other employees are watching. In many instances, you still need the two weeks notice courtesy when there’s knowledge to pass on, employees to train or projects to finish. Make sure you’re not setting a precedence that you let everyone go when they give their two weeks notice. Or they might stop offering.