Key Employee Quits? Whether to React or Respond?

July 12, 20162:00 pm1211 views

As a HR manager, you might experience an ideal situation where the things are running smoothly and employees are highly productive, however all of a sudden, a star employee comes to your desk and nervously states his intention to resign from duties. How do you react or respond?

Some of you might be quite apt at handling the situation, while some employers or senior managers might just overreact to the situation. Emotions, accusations and unsettled feelings are frequently uncontrolled, easy to be rudely voiced out without much thought.

Being the senior business and HR manager, there are times when you are so unprepared to face this truth – the hire-to-retire concept might perhaps be a things of the past soon. You fail to be sympathetic, caring and understanding of your valuable employee’s intentions and reasons to quit.

While this announcement can make you upset and furious for some reasons, considering you know the departure of key talent can impact your business profits and team motivation might suffer as well.

Also recruiting a replacement to fill for those skill gaps is quite a herculean task to accomplish. It is a time-consuming exercise to train new talent, hire for the cultural fit and make sure the timelines for deliverables are not compromised during the process.

Also key employee’s exit could mean morale issues with the team to impact on teamwork’s performance sustainability, and as a result loss to the company in terms of expenses and improvement.

See also: How to Get Started with Your New Boss

You can persuade to retain the talent and offer perks beyond salary, however the final decision to stay or move on is beyond your control. Instead of reacting, choose to respond and mitigate the potential issues that could arise on  departure of the key talent. Also work towards setting a good example, of how teams should thrive in a competitive environment wherein talent shift and job rotation cannot be avoided.

Control the Reaction

Your first reaction to this shocking news can be quite awkward, but do bear in mind that the employee could have specific reasons for leaving the company. He is, indeed, able to work impressively but stating a resignation is not what he would ideally like to come terms with.

Receptiveness and understanding are two things critical to create room for open dialogue between the HR manager and the key talent.

Good communication with complete understanding of the employee’s sensibilities would leave a lasting impression on their minds, and at times could make them rethink on their decisions to quit.  

Listen more

Understanding employee departures is a crucial step towards making your company, a great place to work. If your key employee moves to a more desirable compensation package, you may ask yourself whether the values offered in your company are competitive rather than just judging him as a profit-oriented contributor.  

When your star employee is unhappy, create a safe environment and hold a formal exit interview for some valuable feedback and suggestions. The key employee’s departure could be a great lesson to the company’s future progression goals and the valuable inputs derived during the “stay interviews” could help employers focus on retaining the rest of the workforce.

Design the best announcement

Unprepared announcement could turn out to be disastrous, as it can end up impacting employee performance at work, their morale and workers sustainability, to leave a dull impression on the mind of departing employee.  

Only announce to the team and the entire workforce, through emails or formal announcement after careful thought such that the announcement doesn’t impact other staffers morale and the workforce could support towards helping the employee share a pleasant goodbye.

Get organized in the last minutes

Handing over the office keys, notebooks, technology devices, official IDs and data sharing with your manager is very important to ensure smooth exit path, such that the new employee hired soon will face no problems to find data stored on server.

Also, official email passwords, social media accounts, contacts and documents need to be filed properly, and the departing employee should no longer be authorised to operate them.

Honor he Employee’s Success Before Exit

There could be many ways to honor the employees such as farewell party, casual lunch or simply quiet exit, depending on the employee’s preferences and tenure with the company.

Whatever could be the option of choice, the most important thing is to make the employee feel valued, honoured and appreciated, as they have already given their best to achieve company’s progression goals.

It is quite surprising and tough to handle an employee resignation, especially star performers who contributes and draws much achievement to the teamwork.

To respond in the right manner is an imperative for HR managers and employers alike, to leave an indelible impression even towards the end of employee tenure and association with the company.

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