You are sitting in your office one sunny, bright afternoon and one of your superstar employees walks in and says they are quitting. You are stunned and a million thoughts run through your mind including this one, “How can she do this to me? Why didn’t I see this coming?”
The truth is, abrupt employee departures are more the norm today than they were a few years ago. As the economy continues to improve, you will see more and more of this type of activity.
Here are six tips to help make the team transition as smooth as possible.
Don’t get excited.
Even though you are thinking a million things and your head is spinning, don’t whine or get angry. Listen and be composure. Believe it or not, this moment is not about you, as a team leader, it is about the person before you.
Ask one question: Why?
If they will share, ask them what brought them to this point. If it is a rift within the team or something at work that brought them here, it is best to listen, take some notes and let them leave. On the other hand, if it is personal in nature, such as an ailing parent or the desire to spend more time with their children, you can learn from that as well. If it is the latter, perhaps your organization needs to be more flexible in their scheduling and allow for part-time or telecommuting options.
Research says, when people accept another job and you make a counteroffer they take, 75% will leave anyway within 12 months. The trust has already been broken and let’s face it – if they really wanted to stay, they would have come to you with their problems a long time ago.
Know your company’s protocol.
If you don’t know it right now as you read this blog post, get to know it. Some organizations accept no notice time. You are to walk with them to collect their belongings and usher them out the door. Others allow for multiple weeks of overlap time.If you must dismiss immediately, be certain to get their userids and passwords for all internal software. Once they leave, change the passcodes immediately and disable their userids.
Work on a communication plan together.
Assuming you don’t need to dismiss them immediately, work together on ways to communicate this message to the rest of the team and how together, you will transition her knowledge to her teammates.
The last thing you want is the rumor mill to run rampant and a lot of office drama. Acknowledge together that the team will feel overburdened and you will work with everyone to try and help relieve some of this pressure during this period.
Hold a send off party.
No matter what the circumstances, have an office party with cake, ice cream and soft drinks to send off the person in style. Remember, it is important not to burn any bridges and you never know, you may have that teammate back at your door in a few years if things do not work out with the other organization.
About Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman
Larry Lipman has completed:
- Jack Canfield’s Facilitating Skills Certification
- Melton Leadership Institute Train-the-Trainer
- Active Teaching Leadership Training
- Piering Mastery Technology for Excellence Training
- Tony Robbins Mastery University and
- Stephen Covey “First Things First” Workshop.
Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman can instill fun and productive outcomes for your team! Give Larry a call at 770.333.3303 to understand how he can help you!