People Leadership

It Can’t Last Forever: When Valued Employees Resign

December 6, 2018

Jim’s the best. Everyone loves working with him and he does fantastic work. He is always happy, friendly, and seems to thoroughly enjoy his work. People often remark that Jim is the only one who knows how everything works around the office. As his manager, you feel so lucky to have Jim on your team and wish all of your employees could be a little more like him. You know Jim has a bright future at the company—until one day Jim walks into your office, hands in his resignation, and there is no convincing him to stay.

This scenario has likely played out for every manager or business owner at some point in their career. Employers have an employee who fits in great with the organization and may even play a big role in a current project or the company’s future plans, but then resigns seemingly out of the blue. These types of resignations can be very disruptive to the workplace.

Productivity may suffer due to the loss of a body, but also the morale of staff and even the culture of the workplace may suffer due to a major presence in the organization leaving. Moving on from these sudden departures can be difficult for managers because it’s not just a person who needs to be replaced, it’s a presence: it’s a unique individual with a unique skill set that cannot likely be replicated. So how should managers handle resignations of seemingly invaluable employees?

To effectively navigate a painful resignation that may have a significant ripple effect through the organization, managers need to stay focussed and capitalize on key opportunities to ensure that the workflow and organizational culture suffer as little as possible. How the situation is handled can say a lot to the employees who will continue to work on the team once that employee has left. Mishandling the situation can do even more damage to the team.

Have you recently had a key employee resign or do you believe it could happen within your team? Download our FREE Resignation of a Critical Employee Guide, which discusses the steps to take to manage your team from the time of resignation.

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