THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE
A member of your team resigns unexpectedly, and they're someone you'd prefer to keep. You're busy, and their departure is going to create complications. You're also worried about how the rest of your team (and your boss!) will respond.
Coaching point - it's common in these situations to feel frustrated, worried and let down.
Step 1 - What's a useful way to think about this situation?
- "A resignation isn’t necessarily bad"
- "If you’re surprised, you over estimated your relationship"
- "Job changes are highly stressful" (so you have a counseling opportunity)
- "People don’t just receive offers, they’ve been looking"
- "No one is irreplaceable"
- "We want people to be happy in their job"
- "It’s rarely just about money"
- "When someone resigns, it often creates opportunities for others"
- "This is good time to reassess the role"
Counter productive belief - "It's a money issue, and we should make a counter offer" Why? Numerous research studies suggest that people that accept counter offers leave within 1-year.
Step 2 - What can I anticipate?
- People resign unexpectedly
- People get bored
- People get burned out
- People act in their best interest (it's human nature)
- The person is likely stressed
- Close colleagues may already know
- Co-workers will read into the situation
Counter productive expectation - people will tell you when they're not happy
Step 3 - What best practices can I plan for in advance?
- If you're caught off guard, then manage your emotions
- If someone resigns though email, then set up time to discuss live
- If someone says “I’m considering another offer”, then ask “What are you basing your decision on?”
- If you want to keep the person, then encourage them to stay (but don’t offer pay incentives!)
- If you think they’re making a mistake, then explain why
- If they seem indecisive, then encourage them to take their time
- If their mind is made up, then thank them and pledge your support
- If they don't give enough notice, then focus on their key deliverables
Step 4 - What best practices are worth making habits?
- Notify your HRBP and follow their guidance
- Put the employee at ease (be empathetic)
- Thank the employee for their service and encourage their feedback
- Ask them to put together a transition plan w/recommendations
- Notify your manager and present a transition plan
- Meet with their closet colleagues 1-on-1
- Never speak ill of former employees
- Announce to your team in a supportive fashion
- Recognize the employee's contributions
- Time to reflect - don’t be defensive, be pensive