How to react when an employee quits

Someone giving notice doesn’t have to be the end of the world or the end of a relationship. In this article, the author offers advice on how to respond constructively and professionally when someone says they are quitting smoking. First, take a moment to digest the news. It’s okay to show you’re surprised or to say something like, “Wow, I didn’t expect that. The last thing you want to do is react impulsively and say something you might regret that would leave the person with a negative impression of you and the organization. Notice and manage all reactions in the moment and depersonalize news. It’s also important to show your support and genuine interest in why they’re leaving and what they’re going to do next. And be sure to align yourself with what they need and what you need before they leave to ensure a smooth transition. This may involve give and take and may include ending a specific project or set of tasks, training others to take on those responsibilities to minimize disruption, or even hiring their replacement. Using these strategies can help all parties move forward in a positive way.

With more than four million people leaving their jobs every month in the first quarter of 2022 and 44% of workers looking for a new job, it’s entirely possible that someone on your team will leave at short notice. And it might not be the person you thought it would be – or hoped it would be. It might totally surprise you and be a key contributor to your team, someone you really enjoy working with and has great potential in your organization. So, how do you react when this person gives their opinion?

Although there are several things you should not do – like taking it personally, downplaying their new opportunity, or giving them a guilt trip (among other things) – there are six key elements to ensuring you respond constructively and professionally while dealing with the surprising news.

take a beat

First, take a moment to digest the news. It’s okay to show you’re surprised or to say something like, “Wow, I didn’t expect that. The last thing you want to do is react impulsively and say something you might regret that would leave the person with a negative impression of you and the organization.

Notice and manage all instant reactions

During this momentary pause, breathe and try to discern precisely what you are feeling. Susan David, author of emotional agility, shares that naming our emotions is the first step to managing them. Try to be as specific as possible. In addition to being surprised, you may feel frustrated, discouraged, hurt, deflated, betrayed, angry, upset, upset, deeply disappointed, or just downright sad. There are many subtle flavors of negative emotions, and analyzing the specific emotion you are feeling will help you create greater self-awareness and allow you to process your feelings more effectively and respond more constructively.

It is when we are unaware of these negative emotions that they can emerge unexpectedly below the surface, triggering unconstructive and reflective comments or behaviors that you may later regret, such as lambasting or making a sarcastic remark or sarcastic. It is not advisable to share that you feel betrayed or angry, even if you do – here, discretion is the better part of bravery. However, if you’re sad or disappointed, you can say, “I’m so sad you’re leaving, but this seems like a great opportunity. We will miss you.

Depersonalize the news

When we feel hurt or betrayed by such departures, it is because we take the news personally. Even if you could improve as a manager (let’s face it, we can all find ways to do better), leaving them isn’t a statement about your personal worth or how good you are as a person, so it’s best to put your ego aside and rise above any strong or harsh feelings you might have. The individual may leave for a better opportunity, better pay, personal reasons, or all of the above. The best career path for them might be to leave the organization and gain experience elsewhere. It’s their career, so respect that they made the best choice for themselves, their career, and/or their family, which everyone would expect you to do for yourself. They show loyalty to themselves – not disloyalty to you.

Be curious and show a growth mindset

Show genuine interest and curiosity to find out why they are leaving and what they are going to do next. What can you learn that would benefit you, the organization, and other employees in the future? You might ask, “What could we do to get you to stay? At that point, the answer may be nothing since they’ve probably accepted another position. But one of my clients let her boss know during her notice that a competitor was willing to recruit her to a higher level with much higher pay – something her organization was dragging its feet on and not hadn’t committed long enough. sometimes. Unexpectedly, within days, they came back with an even better deal that finally convinced her to stay.

While this scenario may be the exception, it’s still important to ask the above question, which could also be phrased as, “What else could we have done to keep you?” or “What attracts or excites you most about this new job?” Their response may be related to a better work/life balance, the ability to work remotely, a more inclusive culture, an exciting new challenge with more responsibility, or a greater ability to make decisions. These are all helpful comments for you and the organization so that these areas can be addressed for remaining and future employees, even if it is too late to do anything for that person.

Show your support

It’s important to maintain positive working relationships with departing employees well beyond the time you’re actually working together, so show your support for their decision and get them off on a high. After all, you may need a positive reference from their one day.

Additionally, as a former employee, he is still a brand ambassador for the company and can be a future customer, customer, or referral source for companies and other employees. And by showing support and enthusiasm for their new opportunity, however disappointed you may be, you’re more likely to keep the door open for them to potentially return to the organization one day. So celebrate their contributions and upcoming endeavors, and ask them how you can be of service to them as they begin their new role.

Ask what you need

When someone leaves a review, they probably have a desired end date in mind. After all, they will want to take a break before embarking on a new job. Get an alignment on what they need and what you need before they leave to ensure a smooth transition. This may involve give and take and may include ending a specific project or set of tasks, training others to take on those responsibilities to minimize disruption, or even hiring their replacement.

. . .

Someone giving notice doesn’t have to be the end of the world or the end of a relationship. As surprised as you may be, using the six strategies above can help you respond in a constructive way, which strengthens the relationship and helps all parties move forward in a positive way.

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