When one of your top people resigns, your reptile brain goes into overdrive. Your cheeks flush, your mind swirls with emotions- anger, surprise, disappointment, maybe even embarrassment — and questions, always the questions: “Uh Oh, is this going to make me look bad with my boss (or the board)?” or “Oh no, how are we ever going to stay on track with the new systems roll-out now?” or “How is the team going to take this? Are they going to wonder if they are fools for staying here? Is this going to start a talent exodus?” (Oh, that lovely reptile brain — so brilliantly designed to escape the threat of hungry predators, and yet so hilariously unsuited to the “threats” of modern office work).
And then, as you emerge from the swirl of your amygdala hijack you notice something … your soon to be ex-employee is still standing right in front of you. And you didn't hear a word she said in the past few minutes.
So you pull yourself together, summon your best manners and mutter some vaguely insincere well wishes. You ask her to keep it quiet until you form a plan (because you want to get out ahead of the company grapevine….which already had this news 2 weeks ago).
Then you close your office door and go into full-on damage control mode. You alert key people, start to divvy up the responsibilities and swing into executive action. You know that everyone else on your team is looking to you for decisive action. You are the boss doggone it, so you need to decide how to handle this.
Or do you?
Consider the possibility that a resignation is an opportunity.
Never let a crisis go to waste.
Rarely are the affected employees consulted about how best to deal with the gap or told how valued they are. Sure, its business and it happens all the time. But just openly acknowledging the loss goes a long way to let employees know they are important.
You may take comfort in reading, "We Fired Our Top Talent. Best Decision We Ever Made."
To gain more perspective on performance management and employee turnover, visit "What Drives Employee Retention and Employee Turnover?"
Topics: Employee Turnover
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