Business owners and team leaders are zealous to avoid turnover, and they especially want to keep their best employees in the fold. Sooner or later, though, you’re going to have to deal with the unpleasant reality of a valued employee leaving the company, striking out for some new opportunity.

This can be a major disappointment, but ultimately, you can’t control whether or not your employee chooses to leave. What you can control is your response.

Responding to an Employee’s Departure

Some suggestions I’d offer for handling the departure of a valued employee:

  • Remain professional. Remember that this isn’t a personal decision, and in fact it probably doesn’t have much to do with you. More likely than not, your employee simply found a better opportunity. There’s no good that will come from you getting angry or indignant.
  • Decide whether or not you’re going to accept their notice. You may wish to just let them move on right away, refusing their notice—and while that’s your right, some states will require you to pay employees for that notice period.
  • Talk to your remaining employees. Gather your team and let them know what’s happened. Be positive and professional, and wish your departing employee the best. Let your employees know you have things under control to hire someone new/cover for the departing employee.
  • Be transparent. Related to that last point: You may need to ask some of your employees to step up and take on some new responsibilities, at least temporarily. It’s always best to just be upfront and candid about these needs.
  • Beware of bidding wars. If an employee says they are leaving for a higher salary, and you want to try to match that salary, by all means offer to do so. But if the employee turns you down, leave it at that. They likely have other reasons for leaving that they just don’t want to go into.

Nobody likes it when employees hit the road—but it’s something that happens, and your response is critical. Use these guidelines to make sure you address this occurrence appropriately.

And if you have questions about how you can retain your best team members, that’s something I’m passionate about! I’d love to give you some solutions. Reach out today and let’s start a conversation.

You can contact Dr. Rick at or call 888-267-6098.

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