Recovering After a Team Member Resigns
If you pay attention to Seattle sports, you know that the Seahawks are in a time of transition. It seems like every day we hear about another valuable Seahawks player who plans on donning a different jersey next season. Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Luke Wilson are just a few of the names on the list of players who are leaving, and with each announcement we become more unsure of the team’s future.
If you have ever had a valuable coworker, employee or manager leave your work team, you can identify with how Seattle sports fans are feeling. Shock, confusion, frustration, disappointment and concern for the future are normal emotions, but can easily cloud your team’s ability to perform.
Here are a few steps to keep morale up and negativity down should your team’s MVP choose to leave:
- Wish Them Well
Anger and resentment can manifest as a coworker’s last day approaches (assuming they gave the traditional two weeks’ notice). Instead of acting out of spite, wish them well on their future endeavors and find out how you can help them tie up loose ends. Make sure that their last impression of you, the team, and the company is favorable; after all, you never know when your career paths will cross again.
- Don’t Play the Blame Game
When we hear about a team member taking a position with another company, our first reaction is often to place blame and to start dwelling on the reasons the employee chose to leave; however, keep in mind that team members rarely leave due to an isolated incident. Rather, they typically make a decision based on a culmination of incidents in addition to being presented with an opportunity that will be better for them personally and professionally. For this reason, resist the urge to place blame on a specific coworker or team disagreement- which will negatively impact team performance even further.
- Create Opportunities for Growth
If you are a manager, keep team morale high by creating growth opportunities for the remaining team members. Determine if the open position can be filled internally by promoting an up and coming team member or find employees who have mastered their current roles and are willing to take on new responsibilities while you search for a permanent replacement.
If you are an employee, take advantage of the opportunity to learn a new skill set or accept the challenge of taking on new responsibilities. Impress your manager by demonstrating that you are a team player and are invested in your professional growth in the company.
- Welcome the Replacement
Although the thought of replacing a valuable team member is daunting, consider that a new hire can bring fresh ideas, perspectives and energy to the team. Welcome the replacement, help them to transition into your team, and keep an open mind despite any reservations that you may have.
There’s no way around it, a coworker resigning impacts the whole team. Make sure that the negativity that follows a resignation doesn’t fester long enough to impact productivity and office morale by keeping the steps above in mind.