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What Can You Do When a Valuable Employee Gives Notice

What can you do when a valuable employee gives notice? The great resignation has affected businesses large and small. We've heard from clients not only finding themselves short-staffed but suddenly missing essential personnel without warning.

It happens, it disrupts our businesses, and it dismays us. It can come at us unexpectedly and break our hearts. But it happens. And it will continue to happen—more often than it used to. There is no such thing as the gold watch anymore. Companies don't promise a lifetime career, and younger recruits don't expect it. They expect to change companies every few years, maybe even careers. So, do you know what to do when a valuable employee gives notice?

What Can You Do When a Valuable Employee Gives Notice

Find out why they're leaving

Sit down with the employee and ask them why. Begin by saying you want whatever is best for them and will support them in any way you can. Next, ask them what was missing, what's different about the new position, what factors led to the decision, and how could we have better met their needs and expectations. At this point, if a counter offer might be an acceptable remedy, begin the discussion with the employee.

Complete an exit interview

Many people confuse an exit interview and its purpose. An exit interview isn't to save a valuable teammate. That's what the first conversation was about. The purpose of the exit interview is to improve procedures and personnel and avoid future losses of valuable employees. The interview should include.

  • What could the company do to improve the workplace?

  • What would you share with your immediate supervisor to help them be a better leader?

  • What tools, training, systems, and procedure are we missing?

  • What were your most significant difficulties and hindrances?

Have a plan

How will the transition be handled? Who needs additional training? What will the exiting employee's role in training a replacement be? A company we work with shared that an employee, who wasn't at the top of the valuable employee list, gave two weeks' notice. The employee offered to help with training her replacement. Several teammates shared that the employee, who was leaving, was saying negative and derogatory things about the company to the new recruit. Her manager informed her they no longer needed her help and asked her to leave immediately. The manager had a backup plan.

What to do when a valuable employee gives notice

It's not about you. Unless your poor management is why employees leave, don't take it personally. Other than that, it's not about you, and it's not about them. It's about learning how to improve your organization. It's about being a better leader and ramping up the employee experience at your business, doing everything possible to avoid losing more valuable employees. And it's about having a backup plan. What do you do to retain valuable employees? Do you know what to do when a valuable employee gives notice?

How can we help you?

You can use our recruiting experience to handle the details. We will quickly find the talent you need in order to stay operational without skipping a beat.

We are as helpful and hands-on as you need us to be. Leave the searching to us and see how easy the hiring process can be with a professional recruiter in your corner.

Contact us if you're ready to hear more about how we can help at!

About the author

Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He's a beer geek, and on weekends he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He's the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager's Workbook, a crash course in effective management.

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