Break-ups are never easy. As human beings, we all crave the need for belonging and acceptance and one of the places those needs are deeply affirmed is in the workplace. This is even more challenging for SMEs.
Limited HR resource, coupled with small staff teams where relationships tend to be closer knit and the leaving employee who may have seamlessly fulfilled multiple functions within the business all create a potentially, disruptive situation to business continuity.
Therefore, it is never easy when a key part of your staff team resigns (amiably) to pursue other interests.
As an employer, there’s different ways you can handle this. Give the break up a shake down, trying to establish what underlying reasons could have led to this. React to the fear staff departures always cause to your carefully set up systems and processes, or, you could embrace the change and use it as opportunity to build confidence in the business and create a positive environment for all.
Remember the other employees left behind are watching, internalizing and learning from how you respond to the colleague leaving. They too have their own fears, anxieties and upsets about losing a team member. To respond with outright animosity of diffidence only serves to add tension and mistrust on the employer-employee relationship for the employees left behind.
Some of the ways to turn this situation into a Win Win include:
• Allowing staff to socialize and share with their colleagues about the transition.
• Celebrate the staff’s efforts in contributing towards business growth.
• Involving remaining staff members in thinking through the management of change that will occur as a result of the employee’s leaving.