What to do When a Key Employee Quits


The ebb and flow of business will result in turnover of some key personnel. It happens to all businesses. The difference between your company and another is how you handle the loss of key employees. PrideStaff Financial has some pointers to help your business with the transition.


Don’t overlook the value of the exit interview.
The exit interview isn’t conducted to sway an employee’s decision to leave, but to help you understand the reasoning for their departure and to reduce potential turnover in the future. Conducting an exit interview also gives you the chance to show the employee that there is no hard feelings; that you understand their need to further their career, but want to learn from the situation. This goes a long way with not only the departing employee, but those still under your employment. It minimizes the “gossip mill” when others see the relationship between you and the departing employee is still intact, and may put current employees at ease.


Make a formal announcement.
To avoid rumors and assumption, send out a timely notice to inform employees of the departure. If allowable, give the reasons for the departure, and any going-away party that might be held before hand. It’s also good to conduct a meeting after the employee leaves, to gauge the sentiment and feelings of your other employees. Let them know of your plans to move ahead, what that may look like, and how they can help you bridge the gap until the position is once again filled.


Cross-train employees.
The best defense is a good offense—never rely on just one employee to do the job. Cross-training is an effective way to ensure continuity throughout your business. It also helps keep employees from getting bored. If employees are learning multiple tasks and job responsibilities, it gives them incentive to stay, and keeps workflow steady and productive when there is a departure. Cross-training also shows your employees you believe in, and rely on, all of their capabilities and skill-sets, and that one or two departures will not bring business to a standstill. Your employees recognize what it means when a key employee leaves, and for as much as they might have some anxiety over the transition, they also want to help keep the business going—they want to help you, so let them!


Stay positive.
Above all else, stay positive. All employees have strengths, but they also have weaknesses. Look at this departure as your chance to bring someone in who might be able to fill the gaps that the previous employee didn’t fill. All employees deserve the opportunity to grow and flourish. Use this opportunity to grow and flourish, maybe in a way you didn’t see before.


To ensure a smooth transition, let PrideStaff Financial help guide you through the process of finding bright new talent. As one of the nation’s leading accounting and finance recruitment firms, it is our job to make sure your business continues to run smoothly. Contact our financial consultants today and find out how we can help you.