Here are some simple tips for the bosses of departing employees:
This isn’t about you. Actually, sometimes it is about you. Maybe the departing employee hates you. Get over it, because even then you can’t make this about you. It’s about the person who’s leaving and, even more importantly, those who stay behind. How you say goodbye says a lot to his friends and co-workers. So stiff upper lip, smile, and take the high road.
Let them go graciously. If a valuable employee wants to quit it’s certainly worthwhile it to put up a fight. Start with, “Is there something I can do to change your mind?” No counter offer at all sends a message about their value to you and the organization. But recognize that, in most cases, by the time most employees come to see you they have one foot out the door and offering more money probably won’t help. You can usually tell their true intent in that first conversation—is it to get a little more compensation or really leave.
Time things right. Two weeks is all the transition time you are going to get, or should expect to get. Unless the employee is your CEO, any more is overkill. Seriously, make them stay a month and they won’t do much of anything the last few weeks anyway.
Say thanks. Let them know their service has been valued.
Have a party. Yes, you have to actually stop work at some point to acknowledge their departure. Take them and the team to lunch—and pick up the tab—or have a get together near the end of their last day.
Ask for advice. With a pad of paper in front of you, ask what you can do better as a leader, how the team could run better. They may not be completely honest with you at first, but if you stay open and receptive and start taking notes, chances are they’ll start sharing some valuable tidbits.
I graduated from Duke's Fuqua School of Business in December, 2012, and also completed a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in May, 2013. I created LeadershipGirl as a resource for entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses. I am the mother of four school-age children, two boys and two girls. I lead three girl scout troops- two regular troops, and another special interest troop focused on international travel. I am also my youngest son's tiger den leader, because I was apparently bored. I am passionate about helping people grow to be a better version of themselves, and that we always have room to grow and improve. CEO and blogger at Extension of You Home Care: http://theExtensionofyou.com
Author of Leadership Girl: https://leadershipgirl.com