The period between submitting the resignation and leaving the job can be a unique and valuable opportunity for personal and professional growth. In many Indian companies, the notice period for employees who resign is often three months. Unfortunately, this practice can hinder productivity and reflect outdated mindsets. Employees who have submitted their resignation may mentally detach themselves from the company soon after, resulting in decreased motivation and efficiency. Additionally, the extended notice period can create challenges for individuals seeking new opportunities.
Atul Mathur, executive VP, Aditya Birla Capital, says that it is understandable that achieving a productive and successful transition requires active engagement from both the employer and the employee. It is vital for the manager of the employee navigating the notice period to maintain the same level of involvement and open communication throughout this period.
While it is not uncommon for some employees to experience a decline in interest or engagement after submitting their resignation, Mathur firmly believes in the importance of remaining committed and motivated until the last day.
“I appreciates when organisations go the extra mile to make new employees feel welcome and valued during onboarding. I believe it’s essential for employers to extend the same courtesy and respect to their employees.”
Atul Mathur, executive VP, Aditya Birla Capital
Instead of viewing the notice period as a mere formality, employees should consider it as a chance to make a lasting impression, tie up loose ends and prepare for their next professional endeavour. Here’s what they should do.
Even though they have decided to move on, it is crucial to maintain professionalism throughout their notice period. For instance, they should be punctual, fulfil their responsibilities, and avoid engaging in negative discussions about their current or future employer. This will not only preserve their reputation but also help them leave on good terms, which can be beneficial for future references.
Complete pending tasks
Employees should use their notice period to wrap up any pending tasks or projects. By focusing on completing their assigned responsibilities, they can ensure a smooth transition for their colleagues and minimise the impact of their departure on the organisation. They can also share their progress with their team members, offer assistance, and provide documentation or guidelines for any ongoing projects.
Document processes and knowledge
Employees should take the opportunity to document their knowledge and processes that may be useful for their successors or colleagues. They create comprehensive handover notes, including key contacts, project details and any important information that will help their team seamlessly continue their work after they leave. This proactive approach demonstrates their commitment to the organisation’s success and leaves a positive impression.
Offer training and support
If time allows, they should consider offering training or support to their colleagues, particularly if they possess unique skills or expertise. They should conduct knowledge-sharing sessions, provide tutorials, or mentor a junior employee. Sharing knowledge not only contributes to the growth of the team but also establishes the person as a valuable asset, even during departure.
Network and seek references
During the notice period, employees need to maintain and expand their professional network. They can do so by connecting with colleagues, clients and industry contacts, both in person and online. Attending relevant industry events or joining professional associations to widen their circle of connections is a great way to network. Additionally, it is sensible to politely approach respected colleagues or supervisors for references, as their positive feedback can significantly enhance future career prospects.
“During this phase, organisations should prioritise effective knowledge transfer to ensure a seamless transition for the departing employee’s responsibilities. Encouraging the departing employee to document workflows, processes and contacts can facilitate a smooth handover to the successor”
Ravi Mishra, SVP-HR, advanced materials business, Aditya Birla Group
Reflect and plan for the future
The transition phase offers time to reflect on the current role and career trajectory. Employees can take advantage of this phase to assess their strengths, weaknesses and aspirations. This is also the best time for them to update their resumes, polish their LinkedIn profiles and set new career goals. They can research potential job opportunities or explore further education and training options that align with their long-term objectives.
According to Ravi Mishra, SVP-HR, advanced materials business, Aditya Birla Group, it is essential for organisations to take responsibility and foster transparent communication between employees and employers during the notice period. Mishra emphasises the importance of encouraging open dialogue, where employees feel comfortable expressing their concerns, providing feedback and discussing their transition plans. This transparent communication plays a crucial role in helping both parties understand each other’s expectations and collaboratively finding mutually-beneficial solutions.
“During this phase, organisations should prioritise effective knowledge transfer to ensure a seamless transition for the departing employee’s responsibilities. Encouraging the departing employee to document workflows, processes and contacts can facilitate a smooth handover to the successor. Implementing knowledge-sharing practices throughout an employee’s tenure can also alleviate the burden during the notice period,” opines Mishra.
Mathur also appreciates when organisations go the extra mile to make new employees feel welcome and valued during onboarding. He believes it’s essential for employers to extend the same courtesy and respect to their employees.
While serving the notice period may feel like a waiting game, it is essential to utilise this period productively. By maintaining professionalism, completing pending tasks, sharing knowledge, expanding one’s network and planning for the future, one can make a lasting impact and set oneself up for success in one’s next professional endeavour. Remember, the way one handles one’s notice period speaks volumes about one’s character and dedication, and can open doors for future opportunities. It is best to embrace this transition phase as a chance to grow both personally and professionally.