Oh No! Your Best Employee Just Gave Notice. What Should You Do?

Most managers can handle it when an employee decides to resign from a job. This is just part of the business of handling human capital in the business world – some employees come and go as a natural part of this process. However, no manager wants to admit the anxiety that occurs when their MVP employee gives notice and they are about to lose someone that has been a rock in the workplace.

Losing a high-performance employee is a devastating loss, there’s no doubt, but it doesn’t have to tear apart your team. Instead, this can be a time for reflection and being strategic when building a better work team. Here, we’ll talk about what to expect as your best employee moves on and you focus on bringing on better talent.

#1 – Meet one-on-one with the departing employee.

When a top-performing employee decides to leave for greener pastures, it can be for a number of reasons, personal and professional. If you have received a written notice of resignation, take the time to schedule a meeting with the employee to talk about it. There may be problems that you can create solutions for that will convince the employee to stay on board. For example, maybe there is a personal crisis going on and the employee could benefit from more flexible work arrangements? Perhaps the employee is frustrated with a perceived lack of upward mobility? See if you can offer them a better opportunity with a financial or career status incentive to stay with your company.

#2 – Conduct an informal evaluation of the work skills of all team members.

Once you know that the employee is in fact leaving, it’s time to carefully review the skills of all remaining employees to see if anyone has what it takes to on some of the tasks the employee currently handles. Now is the time to reallocate some work tasks, evaluate if some can be revamped, and who may have the potential to move up into a high level of responsibility. Identify these people, invite them to take on the new roles, and facilitate the learning that needs to happen in short order. Bring on temporary employees who have the skills and abilities that may be lacking and to prevent overloading your other employees, who may already be resentful of what’s happening.

#3 – Capture and transfer knowledge from the departing employee.

Very often, when an MVP employee leaves a company, he or she also takes a great deal of knowledge with them. Don’t let this happen to your company. Instead, as soon as possible, have the employee write down all the tasks and processes used to perform the current job in an average day, then set up meetings to ask questions about these aspects. Set up work sessions with the departing employee and the employees assigned to the new tasks. Document all of this and secure access to all technology used to perform these tasks.

Make the employee’s departure as stress free and friendly as possible. One never knows if the employee may be in touch again in the future. Ask if you can contact them with questions and if they are open to contract or consulting opportunities. Taking these important steps can help to make the transition a smoother one and keep your team intact.

If you find yourself in this position and need to fill a role being vacated, contact Southern California’s top staffing firm, Marquee Staffing. We partner with business daily to evaluate and meet your staffing needs. To learn how we can help your organization, contact us today!