Sooner or later, even the best employer is going to have a staff member resign. There are many situations which are out of an employer's control – an interstate move, they've been tapped on the shoulder for an outstanding job opportunity, they're no longer passionate about a career in Credit etc. Whatever the reason is that your stellar staff member has decided to move on, this is a great chance for you to develop your Managerial skills.
Change is always difficult for a Team. You could have a team who opens their arms to new opportunities, new systems, innovations etc but any team (solid or a little shaky) is going to experience a little hiccup when a staff member resigns. When your staff member leaves their knowledge, skills and business relationships will move on too.
So how do you, as a Manager, lead your Credit Division during this period to ensure the culture isn't rocked too much and that your targets are still being achieved?
• Stay calm! Resigning is a really difficult thing for most people so the last thing they need is you crumbling into a mess on the floor, begging them not to leave you during a busy period. Getting angry at the situation won't help either! You need to remember, just because this staff member is looking to move on, doesn't mean you both won't have an opportunity to work together again the future. You want to keep your relationship solid.
• Of course, your next instinct will be to see if you can hold onto that staff member. Those in the statistical world say that, a person that's counter offered in their employment will only end up staying, on average, for six months. Instead of jumping into a counter offer have a conversation with them about their motivation for leaving. Really listen to them and be sensitive. Throwing money at them might not be the answer and may potentially, in the long run, cause further damage to your team.
• Work with your staff member to agree on how the team will be informed of their upcoming departure. Any announcement made should be professional but should also point out the positive impact the staff member has had on your Credit Division and/or the company. If your remaining staff members see you delivering this news in a respectful and calm manner they will be more inclined to not let it shake them too much.
• Start to get organised. Have a plan in place for you, your staff member and the team so the next four weeks are focused around a handover. This will show every stakeholder impacted by the resignation that you're working in a proactive manner to ensure everything is going to run smoothly and targets will be achieved. If replacing the staff member, who will be involved in the recruitment process? Will the job brief stay the same? Who will look after their ledger while you're sourcing another hire? Keep in mind most job seekers have a four week notice period so there is bound to be a cross over.
• Conduct an exit interview. Most people aren't going to let loose and tell you how they really feel but any information they can provide is going to be beneficial to you as a Manager. Even if you take away one point from the exit interview that could help you or your Team, it's of benefit.
• Celebrate their success! Celebrate the impact this staff member has had on you and your Credit Division and show them that you all wish them the best in their next chapter.
If you treat this resignation in a calm and respectful manner and ensure you work proactively during the resignation period, you'll find that your Team culture won't be knocked about, targets will still be achieved and you will grow as a Manager.
Sarah Bolster is Managing Director of SB Recruitment
Phone 61 2 9251 2505