Don’t Panic When a Top Performer Quits
December 27th, 2016
An employee important to your company has just announced plans to retire or has quit for greener pastures. What do you do? Stay calm, because you followed these steps:
Set up contingency plans in advance. Ask all key staff members to draft a plan that includes the names of people in the company who can assume their duties during an absence. Use these plans when the employee goes on vacation and let employees know you won’t shoulder their major job tasks during absences. You want to avoid the headaches that come with adding temporary responsibilities to your work load.
Use time efficiently. When employees are about to leave, have them complete as many projects as possible and draft status reports on those tasks they can’t wrap up. These reports should include advice on who else can carry on with the projects.
Once the employee has left the company, take these steps:
Prioritize. Decide which projects require continued attention and which can sit on the back burner.
Share the work. Divvy up the workload among the employees who were identified as capable replacements. Can the recommended individuals take over the projects for one, two, three or six months until you fill the position? Is one of them a likely candidate to replace the employee who left?
Survey the staff. Look around to see if there are other employees in the company who have specific skills to take on some of the tasks until you find a replacement.
Consider hiring consultants and temps. They are skilled and can be helpful until you find a replacement. In some instances, temps have been hired to fill the vacant position permanently.
Don’t spring into frenzied activity, such as reassigning workers at the spur of the moment. Give yourself a few days to study the situation.
As difficult as it might be to carry on after a worker quits, don’t let it overwhelm you.