05Apr

How to cope when your top employee flees the nest


key employee resignsWhen a dream hire leaves for a ‘better’ opportunity elsewhere, it’s a rejection that can sting. After all, you’ve invested time and money to nurture their progression in the company.

Tensions during this time can run very high, especially if that resignation is a complete surprise to you – and can result in the employee being treated unfairly and in many cases in a dismissive way.

This doesn’t have to be an unpleasant situation, so here are a few tips that may remedy the situation when a key employee leaves.

Don’t see it as personal rejection
It’s easy to take things personally when an employee ends a working relationship with your company. Many employers instinctively want to terminate employment with someone who decides to resign – “you can’t leave, because you’re fired!”.

Instead, set up an informal with your employee about the opportunity and examine the reasons why he/she is leaving. Then try to identify any ways of meeting their needs so that they’re more likely to stay.

Try to keep a personal relationship after they leave
Their reason for leaving might be a career opportunity that they couldn’t refuse and meets their professional needs, so see the positive in them moving on.

Keeping in touch is a great way to maintain that relationship; and you never know, you may have another opportunity for them which can bring them back to your company. If your relationship with that person is good, then you’ll be in a better position to win them back!

Never banish the trust between you and your employee

Trust is essential, especially as many employers feel tempted to diminish that trust as soon as they hear about that person’s resignation from the company.

If you diminish that trust then it is unlikely you will ever rekindle that relationship, and the employee won’t trust you again, even if there’s another opportunity to work with you again.

Don’t speak negatively about your ex-employee
If you’ve spoken highly of a top employee before he/she hands in their notice, and then you speak to colleagues negatively about them, this can damage your credibility and reputation within the company. Colleagues will think you have a personal grudge against that employee, and that will start to affect your relationship with them.

Always keep a professional working relationship positive; this is the best way to move forward, especially if an employee leaves the company.

There’s plenty more fish in the sea!
If a top employee leaves, it’s not the end of the world. There are many talented people in the talent pool so don’t lose faith – you’ll find someone just as capable of doing a great job once you give them the chance.

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