When an Employee Quits, Is It an Opportunity or a Burden?

by Chris Dardis

If you’ve ever been faced with the challenge of leading and managing a team, (those are two separate skill-sets, by the way) you’ve undoubtedly had an employee approach you and offer their resignation. Regardless of how good of a leader you are, employees will always have other opportunities and will sometimes choose to explore those new challenges. There are several signs that an employee might quit; identify these signs and be proactive.

If there are no signs, the resignation can catch you off guard. Early in my career when I encountered this situation on my team, I would react in the following manner: a little bit of panic, anger, self-pity, and ultimately discouragement. But that was then. This is now.

Now I take the time to ask myself a series of questions. Instead of becoming stressed over the situation, I look at the ways my team can grow from this. One of the best pieces of advice I was given on this topic was this: Ask yourself, “What does this situation allow me to do with my team/department/company that I was hesitant to do before?”

This is a great question, and as a leader, I love to think about it. It can also lead to other questions that will help move your business forward. How can you use a seemingly negative situation and turn it into something positive for the long term? Can you realign the team?  Do you now have a budget to create a role within your team that hadn’t existed before?  Can you add new duties to the open role once it’s filled, or can you promote someone who has been deserving?

The faster you can change your mindset and view the circumstances as an opportunity rather than a burden, the sooner you will be on the road to a more streamlined, efficient team or division.

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Photo Credit: CC, Flickr,Todd Terwilliger, Empty Office Cubicle

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