It is always hard to lose a valuable employee. But when a single employee is handling most of the work and leaves, you find yourself in a tight spot. If you’re an early-stage startup, you could even come to a point where you lose all your clients and have to think about liquidating. Here are some key things you should do in order to avoid complete malfunction of your company when a key player from your team leaves.
Make it clear their role is important
This is the first reaction you should have when you get the resignation letter. Ask genuine questions about why they want to leave and what can be done to make them stay. Ask for honest feedback about the changes they would like to see. You need to show that you care. You need to let them know that the loss is a great one. Try and match the offered salary on the next job they are getting if you can.
Don’t assume that you must instantly replace them
The preference should be to promote from within. Give your team a chance. This will increase their self-confidence and morale. As the company grows, so do job descriptions. You need to take time to evaluate the employees you have with you. Take your time to decide how the role should be filled in, who could be the potential candidate for the job, by when it should be filled and only then make a decision. Keep calm and think before you act.
Think it through
Every action has an equal reaction. When you get big news, you need to start making big plans to suit it or offset it. You can’t just get bogged down by emotion and stop thinking about next steps.
Get data and input from as many stakeholders as possible
Pick up the phone and inform stakeholders about the crucial employee’s departure. Then arrange a face-to-face meeting with them to discuss your plans on how you are going to deal with the situation. Take inputs from them as well.
Even though you might have a plan, you need to be flexible. You need to consider all the inputs you get. Address the concerns of your clients and respond accordingly. People would want to know if anyone else is leaving and how you are planning to manage their accounts. The more information you include in your comeback plan, the safer they will feel.
Communicate the departure throughout the company as soon as possible
Do not, in any case, let rumors spread through your company. It’s inevitable that the person leaving will be making an announcement, but it’s also more important to be candid with your employees. Be clear that the departure was unavoidable and you are trying to do all you can to get through turbulent times and avoid making mistakes.
Acknowledge people’s feelings
Separation of good people will always make others more emotional. Make sure you give them time to validate this uneasiness.
Conduct an exit interview
Ask the departing employee to let out everything he could not say while working under you. You might actually get some great tips out of this.
Following the above-mentioned points will help you steer your company through the rough patch and will help you emerge wiser out of the experience.