One unfortunate fact of today’s business climate is that key employees leave companies on a regular basis. Some employees want to move on to a new challenge, while others see that they have reached as high as they can in an organization and want to move on to a company with more of a ladder of opportunity.
Losing key employees may be a fairly regular occurrence, but that does not make it any easier when it happens. The worst thing a company can do in the face of losing its best employee is panic. This is a time when the executive team steps in and takes control of the situation.
Squash All Internal Rumors
When a key employee leaves the company, it is inevitable that there will be rumors circulating throughout the staff about what happened. If those rumors are allowed to grow, then they could be damaging to employee morale.
The best approach is for management to create a statement that explains the situation to employees without giving too many details. Each employee is going to be primarily interested in whether or not this key employee leaving affects them individually. You should address that issue and squash all rumors. Remember to keep your statement generic because, even though you ask that it be kept confidential, that is not always the case.
Develop a Plan for Customers
When a key employee leaves, that can affect customer loyalty to your organization, especially if that employee was in close contact with the customers. The first thing you need to do is emphasize to all employees that they are not to discuss the employee’s departure with any customers. Company management needs to personally talk to every major client and let those clients know what the plan is to keep things moving smoothly in the absence of the key employee.
As for the rest of your customers, you need to put a plan in place that will allow business to carry on without any issues. If customers do not sense a change in company service, then the loss of a key employee becomes a non-issue.
Losing a key employee can disrupt even the largest organization. But with quick thinking and solid planning, the company can move on and succeed even without its best employee on board. The key is to develop a strong plan for filling the void left by the employee and then execute that plan quickly.