Love Them When They Leave You

Posted: Updated:
Susan White Susan White

Every business leader is going to lose staff members at some point. How you handle a person’s decision to leave your team and the tone you set during the departure can have impact on your business now and in the future. The JoyPowered™ Team will provide ideas on how to handle exits that were the individual’s choice and ones that you initiate.

Done well, you may get valued associates to return to you some day and impress on the rest of your staff that you care about them as people first and employees second.

Excerpt from The JoyPowered™ Team:

“Rehires, sometimes called boomerang employees because they left and returned, can be a morale booster for teams. Someone who has gone out and found the grass may not have been greener helps the part of your workforce who is looking realize ‘Maybe this is a good place to work.’ The returning staff member usually brings back fresh intelligence of what is happening outside of your shop that helps infuse new thinking, which can also ignite creativity on the team. Treating people well as they leave and making sure they know the door remains open if they want to return helps the entire team realize they are truly valued.”

Sometimes we are caught off guard when a staff member we have invested in turns in his or her resignation. Your gut reaction might naturally be “What about us? How will we get the work done without you? What didn’t you like here? What can we do to get you to stay?”

If someone has gone through applying, interviewing, and accepting an outside offer without talking to you along the way, that person is already mentally gone. The best reaction is to congratulate them, ask for feedback that could enhance the role he or she is leaving, map out a robust transition plan and then genuinely work at keeping in touch. This JoyPowered™ approach will preserve the good relationship you built and increase the likelihood that you may get the chance to work together again in the future. Likewise, your remaining staff will see the respect you showed the exiting employee, which will deepen their respect for you.

Susan White is the CEO of Susan Tinder White Consulting, a Collaborator with Purple Ink, and co-host of The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast. Susan has a passion for identifying, developing, coaching, and retaining talent.

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