Ask HR: Should I Offer More Than 2 Weeks’ Notice?

By Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP December 23, 2021
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Ask HR: Should I Offer More Than 2 Weeks’ Notice?

​Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP

SHRM President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, is answering HR questions as part of a series for USA Today.

Do you have an HR or work-related question you'd like him to answer? Submit it here.
 

I am planning on leaving my job of six years within the next couple of months. My role is unique and integral to our operation. My company will probably need additional time to either hire a replacement or train another worker. Is it appropriate to offer a notice longer than two weeks? —Ash

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.: I would first like to commend you for your thoughtful approach to leaving your current company. While giving two weeks' notice is customary, you can certainly offer a longer notice period if you haven't already committed to a start date with another organization. Your employer may welcome the extra time to hire your replacement and transition your responsibilities. This is especially true given today's competitive labor market.

Start by reviewing your company policies to verify you're adhering to the requirements for giving notice. Or, if you have an employment contract, check to see if there is a specific number of weeks required for a notice period to avoid a breach of contract. 

Should you decide to resign, the first person to inform is your manager. Have a candid, open conversation, and communicate that your leave date has some flexibility. Once you share your new start date, defer to your supervisor to determine the transition needs of your outgoing position.

Next, strategize with your manager to determine what your focus should be during your notice period, which responsibilities you should transition to other employees and what training you can provide your replacement if time permits.   

Providing more than two weeks' notice will allow for a less stressful transition all around and may help you to maintain a good relationship with your company. But be mindful, it may be uncomfortable at times. You likely won't be invited to certain meetings, and tasks you would have previously been given and general workplace interactions may take on a different dynamic. 

Leaving your job for any reason requires sensitivity and foresight. And it sounds like you've put a lot of thought into your exit. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!

 

I am a manager at a manufacturing center. We currently have an 82 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate at our facility. We already are below our staffing needs, and an outbreak would severely impact our productivity. Short of mandates, what else can we do to encourage our employees to get vaccinated? —Victor

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.: Getting workers vaccinated is critical to protecting the workplace and keeping businesses and peoples' livelihoods afloat. The vaccine remains one of the most effective ways—if not the most effective way—to protect ourselves and those around us from the COVID-19 virus. 

As a workplace leader, employees look to you for guidance and direction so they can make informed decisions regarding work issues and perhaps even personal ones. I suggest working with your senior leadership team and HR to develop a strong communication plan reinforced with education and support. This may go a long way toward increasing the vaccination rate at your facility. 

Education is a low-cost option to address issues like resistance to getting vaccinated, or lack of information or misinformation about the vaccine. Implement consistent and ongoing messaging, providing facts about the vaccine, explaining its benefits, and discussing the efficacy and safety of the shots. Invite a prominent community physician or a representative from your local health department to host education sessions where employees who may be unsure about the vaccine can ask questions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also have informational posters available to display around your workplace.    

Make the process easy for workers. Offer a vaccine clinic at your facility or provide a list of local sites where employees can schedule a vaccination. Give paid time off to get the vaccine. Some companies are offering incentives such as cash awards and gift cards, or transportation to and from their vaccination appointments, either through a company resource or by paying for an Uber or Lyft ride.  

Emphasize your care and concern for the health and well-being of your employees and their families. Doing so illustrates that getting vaccinated is not just about the work but also about the people. Communicate a team perspective where you all come together to support and protect one another's health and the health of your families. I think it is safe to say we all share a common goal to have the pandemic safely behind us, and everyone needs to work together to get there.

Sometimes the best you can do is listen to those with opposing viewpoints to foster understanding. While this helps set the stage for productive discussion, it doesn't guarantee everyone will agree. Even with all these measures in place, your company may not achieve a 100 percent vaccination rate. However, each step closer toward full vaccination dramatically reduces the chance for a significant outbreak.

Lastly, don't forget to thank your employees for caring enough about their own health and the health of others to get vaccinated.

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