Your Top Employee Has Resigned – Now What?

Dealing with change is a crucial element of managing your business because the corporate world is dynamic and demands constant adaptation. Between emerging marketing trends and economic forces, you always have to be prepared to roll with the punches when external factors affect how your company runs.

You should always be ready for internal disruptions. Specifically, there must be a clear plan in place for when your best employees resign. If your business doesn’t offer opportunities for advancement or competitive salaries, your top contributors will likely serve their notices and take positions at other companies. In some cases, your most talented staff members might even join your competitors’ teams.

While the loss of a great employee is always hard, you can’t allow it to affect your business’ long-term prospects. You have to find ways to move past the resignation without losing any productivity in the meantime. Take the following steps once your best worker presents his or her two weeks notice.

Make a counter-proposal
As soon as an employee says that he or she has taken a job elsewhere, you should ask why that position is more attractive than the current role. This line of questions will tell you exactly what you need to do in order to convince your staff member to stay. According to CNNMoney, when someone is leaving for an increased salary or a better title, you can find ways to match the new offer.

When it comes to money, you have to be willing to pay for top talent. Employees know how much their efforts are worth and want fair market value as compensation. Consider how much revenue a staff member brings in to determine if you can increase his or her wage to counter another company’s proposal. For job titles, be open to elevating someone into a new position or at least changing the position’s official moniker. After all, you shouldn’t let your best contributor walk away because you didn’t want to change a couple of words.

However, you can only counter an employment offer if the employee is willing to listen. Some people don’t want money or a fancy title – they want a new start or a better opportunity elsewhere. These are features that you can’t replicate without fundamentally changing your business. In this situation, you have to accept the fact that a worker is trying to improve his or her quality of life.

Tell the staff
In most cases, other employees will know that someone is leaving before you do. Co-workers usually become fast friends and trust each other with news about job interviews and employment opportunities. The rest of the team won’t be surprised to hear that their friend is leaving, but you still have to break the news in a positive fashion.

Business 2 Community explains that you have to remain upbeat when you announce a contributor’s resignation. If you show any hard feelings, other staff members might feel like you’re resentful that an employee decided to seek out greener pastures.

Talk about how much you appreciated the departing worker and why his or her presence was such a powerful force. Next, explain that there will be changes and that the company will have to undergo a bit of restructuring to effectively replace an employee. By framing this information in a positive way, you’ll show your staff that there is potential to use the resignation as an opportunity to grow and improve.

Delegate responsibilities
Once an employee is officially gone, you have to find ways to delegate his or her work to the remaining staff members. It might be tempting to give all of the projects to one person, but that’s a faulty practice at best because that worker will become overwhelmed, burn out and possibly quit. As a result, you’ll be down two contributors instead of one.

Evenly spread the work through the team to ensure that everyone is carrying an equal share of the load. By fairly distributing all of the responsibilities, you’ll ensure that everyone is satisfied with their workloads without feeling unnecessarily stressed. This is crucial to retaining staff members while you develop permanent solutions and find ways to replace talented individuals.

Bring in new hires
Finally, the best step you can take is hiring new employees to fill entry-level openings while tenured workers take on critical tasks that used to be handled by your departed employee. By bringing in new contributors, you’ll have greater human capital to cover all of your business’ everyday procedures. While the recent hires won’t be the best team members on day one, they’ll help your staff maintain productivity immediately following a resignation.

Turnover is a regular part of doing business, so you have to be prepared for your workers to quit. What do you do when employees serve their two weeks notice?

How to react when top workers resign
How to react when top workers resign
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Martin Jones

Martin Jones is a Senior Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution for Cox Business social media & content marketing. Today, over 1 million fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.