Monday, January 19, 2015

Losing A Good Employee - An Opportunity For Change

This CEO Blogger has been managing people for over 45 years, in one capacity or another, either personally, or through direct reports.   As far as I am concerned everyone at our company works for me.  In doing so, while I directly have terminated very few employees, I have been involved in approving the termination, or lay off of many employees through my direct reports.  Terminating employees for cause, when necessary, though often unpleasant, is just part of a good manager's job.  It is actually more difficult to lay off employees in a downturn, or for other business reasons; but that responsibility too comes with a manager's job title.  Losing a Good Employee to voluntary termination is in many ways the most difficult and troubling aspect of a manager's job, since no one wants to see a Good Employee leave the company. 

It happens for a variety of reasons.  Some Good Employees that leave may think that the grass is greener someplace else in seeking another career opportunity.  The reality is usually not so; but it may seem so because of a few more bucks, or perhaps a new job title, or role.  Good Employees can usually do just as well, over time, staying right where they are; but in the short term, perhaps leaving does provide some opportunity for career advancement.  More often than not a Good Employee leaves the company because he or she does not have a good relationship with his or her direct report manager.  Over the years, I have been told by certain employees that if forced to work for a particular manager, that they would quit.   If departures happen frequently because of a particular manager, it is probably time to deal with that manager.   Good Employees often leave to go to the competition, or sometimes to try something new outside the industry.  In some cases, Good Employees retire, or stay home to take care of children.  In a rare case, a Good Employee may die prematurely, which is probably the hardest departure to accept. 

However, whatever the reason a Good Employee leaves the company, it is never the end of the world.  Life always goes on.  This CEO Blogger has seen other employees go into a real funk when a Good Employee leaves, as though the company will cease to function.  Of course, that is ridiculous. When dealing with anything bad that happens in business, or even in life, should a Good Employee leave the company, a good manager allows him or herself a short time to grieve and then immediately moves on to Plan B.  Actually, when any employee leaves the company, for any reason, it is a great opportunity to take a hard look at the job function and the company in general.  Sometimes when a Good Employee leaves, it forces decision making that probably should have happened anyway and sooner. 

It may be time to change direction for the department, division or subsidiary and or to eliminate the job entirely giving out responsibilities to other employees of the company.  One employee leaving could create a promotional opportunity for another employee and or it could be a chance to hire someone more experienced and or talented to replace the employee that left.  When we have a Good Employee leave our company, we always turn lemons into lemonade, one way or another.

This Blogger CEO has more than 1500 professionals in my Linked In from both within and outside our industry.  These are people who could fill lower level jobs all the way up to senior managers.  I will accept a link to anyone that I think might benefit our company one day, one way or another.  When we have a job opening, I frequently check my Linked In to identify candidates that might be suitable.  I contact those candidates to determine interest in our job opening and to arrange  interviews.  In many ways, I am our company's Recruiter in Chief, which I see as a good use of my time, since we can only succeed by hiring and retaining good people.  We have hired several people from my Linked In contacts.  So while losing a Good Employee is never positive and can be challenging until a replacement is found, or reorganization is accomplished, it really is an opportunity to bring in, or to advance other talent that can benefit the organization.   Most important, all employees should see losing a Good Employee as an opportunity to benefit the organization. 

No comments:

Post a Comment