By Jason Richmond / December 23, 2016
A team is a group of people who create a bond by working together on a common task or goal. Workplace teams sometimes feel like a bond that is unbreakable and unstoppable, but we all know sometimes life gets in the way. Team members may get better opportunities elsewhere or perhaps someone was fired. No matter what the reason, losing someone on your team will ultimately have an impact in some sort of way. Luckily, there are actions leaders can take to minimize the damage and get the team up and running smoothly as quickly as possible.
When someone leaves the team, leaders show their true colors by guiding the team to a happier energy in the office. It takes a strong leader to take charge and lead the team back to normalcy. One of the best ways to boost morale is to address the elephant in the room immediately and be positive.
Leaders should be positive and optimistic when a coworker leaves. Wishing the former employee well and sending them on their way, even though they will no longer be with you, is one way to show appreciation for the work they have done, but it also gives other coworkers the go-ahead in wishing their old coworker good will. It is a tough thing to do, but the remaining employees will appreciate a leader who can wish a former employee well when they reach out for new opportunites. This can also help prevent the employee who left from spreading bad rumors about the company. This act of maturity shows the team that it’s possible to move on and achieve goals even without that person. As a leader, an attitude of positivity is always best.
But what happens when someone leaves on bad terms? Unfortunately, not all employees will leave on a happy note and there will always be that one person who feels as if they have been wronged. When it comes to the ex-employee who won’t stop complaining, sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something. Firing back at that employee will look like the leader has something to hide, which will make the rest of the team question who is at fault. However, it is completely legitimate to take a step back and analyze what they are complaining about. Double checking complaints to make sure they aren’t true will prevent further employees from being angry, and if nothing was wrong, it never hurts to double check yourself. If current employees start to ask about the complaints, have a short meeting to address how the firing process is handled and general work requirements to clear up any confusion.
Sometimes, it’s the star employees that choose to leave and move on to a new opportunity. This can hurt a little bit, especially as a leader, but remember, it’s important to stay as positive as possible and make sure your current team is happy. It’s never a bad idea to have check-ins with your team to see how everyone’s doing.
The best thing to do when someone leaves is to rearrange the original game plan and make sure everyone knows the necessary changes that have to be made. Whether it’s hiring a replacement or giving a current team member a promotion, gather the team and let them make a plan with you. This will force everyone to be on board and let them feel like they are a part of moving forward with those who are still on the team. When everything is transparent within the team, problems are reduced and communication is at peak performance.
Looking at the bright side of things will only boost morale for the team as long as it is genuine. Nobody listens to a leader who is fake and trying to be too optimistic. There was a loss, yes, but that doesn’t mean the team can’t come back stronger than ever. Although losing a team member can be tough, it happens to all great leaders at some point in their careers. The successful leader will move on from the situation and make the most out of what happened. Thus, moving on and creating a new plan of action is the best way to get over an employee resigning.