I spent some time over the weekend catching up with what’s been happening in the social media world and I stumbled across a question in one of the groups I participate in. It was from a business owner who wasn’t quite sure what to do as their Sales Manager had just resigned, having been enticed away to what they believed to be bigger and better things. They obviously hadn’t seen this coming.
I suspect like most people you are guilty at times, that when things are ticking along nicely in your business we take things for granted… You think your staff are engaged, productive, and they’re smashing their goals. Sales are on the rise, and you’re feeling pretty pleased with the fact that you’ve managed to grow and nurture such as awesome team of employees.
But suddenly, there’s a spanner in the works.
Completely out of the blue, a key member of staff (in this case their Sales Manager) tells you that they’re moving on to pastures new. Now we understand in a small business, this can be a serious blow, and it can have a real impact on your bottom line if it’s not managed effectively.
So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation? Let’s take a look at what you can do in practical terms
Establish exactly when they’ll leave
You might already have a policy in place surrounding the necessary notice period. Of course though, things don’t always go according to plan, so don’t make any assumptions. Make sure that you know the precise date that your employee will leave. This way, you can sort out any outstanding admin arrangements, including payroll, and you can also start to work out your next steps so there’s minimum impact on your business.
Carry out an exit interview
An exit interview is a great way to get some valuable feedback about why your member of staff decided to leave. You can’t retain everyone you recruit, but it makes sense to keep an eye on the reasons why people move on to different things.
Do remember that because you’re the boss, you’re not always going to get the full and complete truth. It might be worth outsourcing this part of the process, so you can be sure that you’re getting a more honest and meaningful information to work with.
Do you have a continuity plan
Right now, it’s no help whatsoever for us to mention that you should have already planned for these kinds of circumstances. You already know this, and you’re probably kicking yourself. Still though, there’s work to be done. You need to establish how you’ll make sure that productivity remains high, so orders get delivered and so on, and that your business doesn’t suffer.
Part of this is likely to involve looking for a new member of staff. For now, consider how you can bridge any gaps by utilising your existing workforce, without making unreasonable demands. It may not be ideal, but there’s often a silver lining. You could be giving an ambitious employee an opportunity to step up and broaden their experience.
Don’t forget to thank your employee for their contribution
We know that you don’t need us to tell you that this is a good idea, but when you’re stressed out about the future, it’s easy to overlook the most obvious things. Your member of staff could go on to refer business your way, or they may even become a customer or a client in the future.
And of course, you definitely don’t want to face the fallout that could come with your employee ending their time with you on a sour note. A little bit of consideration can go a long way.