Are you prepared if an employee leaves unexpectedly?

Authored by InstaKey

When it comes to running a company, dealing with turnover is simply another cost of doing business. Smaller companies may like to think of their staff as part of their family, but the reality is that employees come and go even in the best of circumstances.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.8 million Americans quit their job in January 2015 alone. While turnover is, of course, present in every industry, the hospitality and entertainment industries led the way, with 5.6 and 6.9 percent turnover rates.

As such, it's essential for owners and managers of companies across the country to prepare themselves for the possibility of their staff leaving. The Harvard Business Review presented some tips for ensuring employers are not caught on their heels when an employee announces their exit or - worse - simply stops showing up to work.

Put a protocol in place
Depending on the industry, the first steps to be taken after an employee quits are varied. Many employees will give two weeks’ notice. The employee should be instructed to bring any company identification, key cards or keys with them on their last day of work so they can be turned in.

In some industries, however, two weeks’ notice is not appropriate. This may be because of the employee's close contact with clients or other mitigating circumstances. In this case, some companies choose to ask those who put in their notice to leave immediately, often having security escort them out.

As Priscilla Claman, president of consulting firm Career Strategies, explained to the Harvard Business Review, when an employee quits from out of the blue, "you need to ask yourself: Do I want this person here anymore?"

If this is the correct decision for the company, it's essential to collect any keys or cards used to access the building or offices before escorting them out.

Consider security
One major security issue arises when employees simply fail to show up to work. This is an especially common problem among restaurants. The hospitality industry has a historically high turnover rate, and managers who have keys that access the entire restaurant, including where food, liquor and money is kept, who quit without due process, create quite a problem for those left behind.

Unfortunately, in cases like these, often the only choice is to rekey the entire property. This task is generally both time consuming and extremely expensive. However, for buildings that invest in a key control system, the process doesn't have to be so painful.

When the system is installed, each staff member is given a key that is individually serialized, which allows owners and managers to control who has access to what parts of the building. In addition, if a key turns up, it's simple to use the provided software to link it to its owner.

Most importantly for companies who unexpectedly lose an employee, these key control systems can also come with rekeyable locks. Instead of calling in a locksmith and paying hand over fist to have all of the locks changed, these locks can simply be reset with the turn of a key. Each lock takes just moments to reset, meaning an entire building can be rekeyed within a day, rendering any keys the former employee has in their possession useless. New keys are then distributed to the remaining employees, and the building is secured for a fraction of the cost of bringing in a locksmith.

A key control system will not only keep buildings secure from day to day, but it also ensures that the building remains safe even when the unexpected happens.