How to manage the inevitable loss of key people in a business
It can be difficult when a key person decides to leave a company. The knowledge they have acquired cannot be immediately replaced and finding a suitable replacement for a position that is so integral to the company is rarely an easy task.
I recently caught up with Business Insider about how to approach this difficult topic.
Here are my top tips from the article:
- Don’t be afraid to ask about people’s plans for the future – most people won’t be sticking around forever and it’s not practical to pretend they will.
- Don’t freak out if they aren’t planning to stay forever – the value they can add to the company now does not change based on their plans for five years from now.
- Have notice periods that will give enough time for necessary preparations but not so much that they will begrudge being around towards the end. If you’ve done points one and two right, you will hopefully have been in the loop from the start of their job search, meaning the whole notice period might not even be necessary.
- Be thorough in the handover – make sure you haven’t missed any gaps and have covered all aspects of their job. This is absolutely crucial for a smooth handover and requires a lot of thought and consideration from both parties.
- Most importantly, don’t take it personally – they aren’t leaving you because you or your company aren’t good enough, they’re simply taking a different journey to a different destination whilst you continue on yours.