Top 5 Tips for Dealing with the Loss of Key Personnel


Of course, it can be difficult to attract really great people to work in a small business, but what’s even more problematic is retaining them for an extended period of time. How should you deal with losing your best staff and what can you do to make them stick around? Here are our Top 5 Tips:

1. It’s important that you stay positive when your employee hands in their resignation. Although it may not seem like it at the time, the majority of changes will ultimately lead to better things down the road. Perhaps you will find someone even better or maybe just someone cheaper.

Whatever the eventual outcome, it is important that you don’t let on to the rest of your staff about how difficult it will be without this person as you risk devaluing the rest of your workforce or starting a mass exodus.

2. Don’t let the person leave on bad terms. Make sure that they know that you knew they were an important past of the business and that you valued their contribution. Refusing to give referrals or recommendations just because you are upset they are leaving is poor form and will burn any bridges if you ever hoped to work with them again in the future.

3. Think about why that person is leaving and whether you could have done anything more to prevent it. Perhaps your management style drove them out the door? Try to get them to speak honestly to you about their reason for leaving – after all, they are going and there will be no repercussions from telling the truth.

4. If you really feel that your business cannot cope without this person as they are such an integral part of your business, you could make a counter offer to them as a last ditch attempt to keep them. Promise to match what they are getting from their new position or even offer them slightly more.

Obviously you shouldn’t do this with every member of staff that hands in their resignation as you will get people trying it on just to get a salary increase. But if the person leaving knows valuable information about your business practices or if losing them will derail your progress, try breaking out the chequebook!

5. But sometimes no matter what you try, you won’t be able to keep that person – especially if they have plans to start a business of their own. So do the next best thing and make sure that you productively use the time between them handing in their resignation and actually leaving by allowing them to help with the transition process and assisting the remaining staff to get to grips with their duties.

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