11 tips to consider when a key employee leaves

When one of your first employees decides to leave your new company, there are a lot of emotions to manage and decisions to make. Depending on the size of your business, you might struggle to find someone to take on their responsibilities — or worse, end up having to add more tasks to your already long to-do list.

To help you deal with this difficult but common situation, a group of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members answered the following question:

“Especially when you’re a new business owner, a resigning employee can feel overwhelming and confusing. What is your best advice for dealing with an employee departure, and why? »

things to do when a key employee leaves

Here’s what they recommend you do in this situation.

1. Be understanding

“It is important to show your understanding. Supporting the employee, even if it is difficult for you, will ensure that he leaves on a high note. Employee departures can be related to a lack of job satisfaction, a problem with the company culture or the fact that they have just stumbled upon a great new opportunity! Knowing their reason for leaving helps you set things in motion to prevent other team members from leaving. ~ Dave Hengartner, ready

2. Have an exit interview

“Always conduct an exit interview with every departing employee to determine if there are any fundamental changes that need to be made in your business to reduce turnover. It’s expensive to hire a new employee and train them, so do your due diligence to find the issues and fix them. Of course, your company and the job may not be a good fit for the worker, and that’s okay either. ~Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com

3. Stay calm

“When an employee quits, the best thing to do is stay calm and try to figure out why they left. It’s possible there’s something you didn’t know, and you can learn from them leaving. Maybe they didn’t fit the business or didn’t share your values. If you handle the situation properly, the employee may be willing to provide good references for future employees. ~Blair Williams, MemberPress

4. Acknowledge the resignation right away

“Your employee will definitely submit their resignation before they finally quit. It can be frustrating to read those resignation emails, but acknowledging them as soon as you receive them can help calm things down and keep both parties on the same length. ~ Thomas Griffin, Optin Monster

5. Respond when weighted

“When an unexpected situation arises – especially one that has a significant impact – react, but don’t react emotionally. Years ago I was given the advice that people will watch how you react in situations very pressing. In this specific case, seek to understand what happened once you regained your composure. Then strategize and see what you can do to move forward. Always remain professional ~ Greg Soh, RoadFlex

6. Look inside

“Focus less on how awful you think the person left and more on what you could have done differently as an employer. It took me years to figure out I had to do exit interviews , then many years after that to learn that it wasn’t my place to do them I now have a human resources professional who gets answers about what we can do better as a company and how I can be a better leader.” ~ Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Firm

7. Try not to get discouraged

“Check with the employee so you can have an answer that gives you peace of mind. Remember that in business, we all owe it to ourselves to make the best decision for our careers, and fundamentally, your business. won’t always be someone’s. Don’t be discouraged, just resume your hiring efforts and consider letting recruiters do the work of finding the right people for you. ~ Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

8. Be transparent with other employees

“It’s never easy to lose an employee, but the best way to handle a resignation is to be honest and upfront about your reasons for leaving. This can help you avoid any future issues with other employees who may have questions about their reasons for leaving. ~Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

9. Take time to process

“It’s frustrating when an employee quits, especially without warning. Instead of letting her decision ruin your day, stay positive and focused. In many cases, the initial feeling of overwhelm isn’t as bad as it sounds. Take the time to process what happened and you’ll find it much easier to make rational decisions once you’ve calmed down. ~John Turner, SeedProd LLC

10. Find solutions

“No business can escape staff turnover, so the best decision is to simply move on. However, you need to explore the issues that led to the departure of a particular employee and come up with suitable solutions. Even if you find no reason why an employee leaves the workplace, there is nothing to worry about. Sometimes an employee is not the right fit for the company and vice versa. ~ Stephanie Wells, Forms great

11. Be professional

“When an employee quits, it’s important to stay calm and focused. Don’t panic; instead, take the time to assess the situation. You want to maintain a cordial relationship with your former employee, so try to be as professional and understanding as possible. By doing this, you can learn from the experience and move forward without conflict or risk to your business. » ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

Image: Envato Elements

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