Nothing stings quite as much as losing a valuable staff member, especially if they head over to your competitor. It is like a break up. For a lot of us (especially female business owners) we go through the five stages of business loss grief.
“Oh no they haven’t really left me. I bet they are just having a bad day. They love me, everyone loves me. They love their job, every one here loves their job”
“They can’t live with out me…. I know they will be back!”
“That b@!*^!#d, how could they leave? Don’t they know who I am? Don’t they know what I have done for them? Good, I am glad they are gone. I hated their stupid dog stories anyway. I will find someone better!”
“Lets give them more cash, bucket loads of the stuff. Lets give them flexible work hours and let them bring their weird dog into the office. Anything, we will do anything regardless of how ridiculous it is”
“I am a crap boss, no one likes me. I don’t want to do this anymore, its just too….(insert sniff sniff)….too hard…blah blah blah…poor me!
“Well losing one of our team sucked, but onwards and upwards. Time to evaluate what we need and get an add on Seek”
Be mindful that you will actually grieve the loss of an employee. It is normal and human to feel disappointed; especially if you had no idea the employee was not happy. Remember that employees leave for many reasons, some you have control over, some you don’t. So how do you avoid the pain? Read on…
Here is a question I ask all business owners about their staff. “If (insert name of staff member) left would you be:
If the answer is a) relieved – it is time to do some serious thinking and time to start some uncomfortable conversations around performance and expectations.
Quarterly reviews with staff are invaluable. They take away the “Uhoh I am being hauled into the bosses office” fear. It is a meeting to discuss the employer as much as they employee. Lets call it “airing time” for everyone!
If the answer is b) disappointed – this is the reasonable response! Funny enough, I rarely get this response.
If the answer is c) devastated – whooaaa baby! You have far too much invested into this relationship. It is not a marriage, you do not get to expect “till death do as part” fidelity and commitment. Ask yourself why you would be devastated? If that person has become so integral to your business that the loss of them would be devastating you might want to rethink your business fast!