Don’t Panic: What To Do When A Star Employee Resigns

Ok don’t panic here is what to do when a star employee decides to resign?

when your star employee resigns, Employee resignation, Replacing star talentEvery company has one…that stand out employee. The star who always get things done brings in the sales, closes the deal, and raises others up to his level. When you have a star, you always feel confident that your business will succeed.

Until the day she resigns to follow another opportunity. It’s easy to panic in this situation, but in today’s competitive, employee-driven market, it happens all the time. So, how do you handle the situation?

Here are 8 tips for what to do when your star employee leaves

1. First, try to keep them

If someone else has wooed your star, it might be time to woo them right back. First, make it clear how much you value their vital role in the organization. Show that you want them to stay. Sometimes, even your star player can feel under-appreciated. It might also be wise to make a counteroffer. This might mean more money, better benefits, a promotion or a change in roles if the employee is looking for a new challenge.


2. Let go with grace. 

If wooing or counteroffers don’t work, then it’s time to accept the facts and move on. It is important to be graceful in the midst of your disappointment. Never bad-mouth the employee to anyone. That will not win you any points, either with the departing employee or the ones who still work for you. It can also give you a bad reputation among potential future hires and even damage client or customer relationships.

3. Let your team know as soon as possible. 

You aren’t the only one who will be affected by the departure. Your team has a stake, too, and they will have questions relating to their changing roles in the company. It’s important to inform your staff of the imminent change right away. Don’t allow unnecessary rumors to spread as that could damage morale in the entire company. Be open about the situation and make it clear that you have a plan to replace the departing employee.

4.  Alert everyone else of interest as soon as possible. 

Again, a departing employee won’t affect just you or even your internal team. The ripple effects will spread outside of your company. People of interest can include clients, vendors, customers, contacts, and anyone else who has built a relationship with that employee. Make it clear that their business is still your top priority and will be handled with the same level of professionalism.

5. Resist hiring in a panic. 

It’s easy to overreact and hire someone new immediately. Resist this impulse. You want to take the time you need to evaluate the needs of the company and the newly vacated tole. Think about existing employees’ roles and capabilities before determining how to proceed. You’ll want to have a clear definition of the role that needs to be filled before making a decision.

6. Don’t wait too long to hire someone. 

This may seem like a contradiction, but it’s really not. While you want to take time to evaluate the needs of the company, you also don’t want to get stalled and do nothing out of fear. Create a plan based on your evaluations and then get back to work.

7. Look internally to fill the role. 

Is there a “star in the making” on your team already? It’s easy to think you must look externally for new talent, but often the answer is right under your nose. Evaluate those around you and see if someone has similar qualities. Maybe the departing employee has already been mentoring others on the team and they are ready to step into a new role? If so, it could save you the time and money required to recruit outside talent.

8. Take the time to do a thorough exit interview. 

This can sometimes be an overlooked part of the resignation process, but it’s still an important one. Use the exit interview as a way to discover the underlying reason for the departure, beyond the offer of more money or a career advance. Was the employee unhappy for some reason? Was there a grievance that was ignored or unnoticed? Was there a company policy that negatively affected their work? Was there a conflict with another employee?

Keep your ego out of it and think of the situation as a good opportunity to make improvements in your company.

A star employee quitting is a big shakeup and you have to be prepared when it happens (and it will). Use these 8 tips to help make the transition easier. If you’re ready to start a search for a new superstar talent, Mankuta | Gallagher offers expert services to find and fill critical roles. Contact us today to get started.


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Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher