How to Handle Losing a Top Employee

At some point, all businesses must deal with losing an important member of their team. While the reasons behind the leaving may differ, the framework of replacing the employee and moving forward should remain the same. By following the four steps given in this post, you will be able to soften the impact of the employee’s departure and lessen the chance of it happening again.

Conduct Exit Interview

By conducting exit interviews, you will gain insight into why this person is leaving. This a cost effective way to learn about the company’s strengths and weaknesses without having to invest time and money into third-party assessments. Another benefit of the exit interview is uncovering the true work environment by receiving a more authentic and honest point of view. With the employee leaving, there is little reason for them to hide how they truly feel. All this information will now allow you to analyze the current situation, make improvements for the future and increase retention in the workplace.

Approach Change with Right Mindset

When a top performer leaves it can be easy to dwell on the negatives that surround their leaving, whether it is a loss in productivity or a hit on employee morale. But successful managers should turn their focus towards what is still possible. This could mean taking a big-picture look and seeing how a potential new hire could help the company with their new skills or fresh perspective.

Address Departure

It is important to communicate with co-workers and/or clients about why this person is leaving and the impact it will have on them. By being open and honest, you can work together to develop the best solution for the company, which will go a long way in building trust and lowering turnover.

Evaluate Organization/Department Structure

When a switch in personnel occurs, it is a great time to examine the situation and determine the next steps. Most times there are a variety of options which could include promoting someone internally, hiring someone from an outside company or not hiring anyone and reorganizing the work to the remaining employees. This is the most company-specific step and will differ based on a number of factors such as industry, company or department size, budget and the education or experience needed for the position.

Using these four steps while the situation is happening isn’t enough. By implementing them into an action plan, ideally before a situation like this occurs, you will develop a consistent protocol that will help set expectations for everyone throughout all levels of the company.

Robert Hoeft

Robert Hoeft
Robert Hoeft is a marketing assistant at QPS Employment Group.

Robert Hoeft

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