What does it mean and how to handle valuable member of your organization who wants to leave your company?
Well, obviously if he says: “I quit!” he wants to leave. Don’t be fooled and think like it’s out of the blue. Something has been cooking inside your team member for a longer period of time.
If you don’t pay attention, often this eureka moment:” I quit!” might seem to you like all of a sudden.
But it is not!
In short, you have failed as a manager.
Because you should have been aware of dissatisfaction which slowly but progressively has been accumulating inside your team member over-longer period of time.
By dissatisfaction, I don’t mean he or she is unsatisfied with salary.
I assume he or she is already satisfied with it. Since I am talking about a dedicated and loyal team member of your organization who is already established in the organization.
Most probably, this kind of individual will try to leave your company because his efforts were not recognized by you.
So how do we deal with this situation?
It all starts with pulling you aside and saying: “Do you have a minute or two!? I need to tell you something really important! Bla Bla Bla Bla… I quit!”.
This is the time when you surely don’t want to evade your valuable member. Drop everything you had in mind and focus on him/her! Otherwise, you only acknowledge what he already feels like, not valued!
He or she will probably have prepared speech, so let them talk. Then try to really ask questions beyond prepared speech. Most probably this is when the real reasons will pop out.
In any case don’t argue, panic or lecture. Because it won’t get you anywhere. It will only fortify the decision of leaving, made by an individual.
Now you need to buy some time for yourself to get more prepared for additional talks with him or her. So it would be good to rally other managers if you are not sure of what and how to handle this situation. Talk with them about possible solutions. One of the solutions would definitely be transferring him to another department, project manager or project.
Anyhow, you need to offer as many solutions for an individual as possible.
Long, long, ago…
Most probably if you offer something, the individual will say that you should have done it long ago. Again, don’t argue. Just say that he is right and that his actions opened your eyes and that the time has come to correct obvious error.
The last thing which an individual might say during your talk is that he has already committed to another company job offer. But you need to say to him that although he already committed to another company he is still committed to you as well. The connection between you two is far greater and stronger than the connection between him and the newly committed company.
Although this talk won’t be easy for any side, you have to give the best of you to keep your valuable member inside your organization.
If you lose that valuable member of your organization, more employees who respect that individual and identify with him will start to question themselves. Their morale will eventually deteriorate and you might face much more uncomfortable talks like the one described above!
Bottom line, keep your eyes wide open. Every now and then talk with your team members about what’s bothering them so you can act accordingly.
I totally concur with all the points made.
I would only point out that IF the employee will really leave and you cannot stop him/her, it is preferable to let the employee go ASAP since no more serious work will be done by him/her and he will only become a reminder for the rest of the people that he is leaving and why should they stay put forever – maybe there are better options out there…