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Replacing Key Employees

Thursday, February 27th, 2020


Losing a key employee is always painful. However, handling the loss of a key employee poorly can exacerbate the situation. It’s easy to become anxious about filling the position, but it’s important to stay on an even keel. This starts with handling the details first.

Don’t Forget the Exit Interview

While losing an employee stings—and emotions run high—it’s extremely important to hold an exit interview. While the employee could be leaving for the simple reason of higher wages, you might learn that they were unhappy at your organization. These interviews, by their very nature, can provide a goldmine of information about your company, ranging from procedure to culture. Setting your ego aside to have an honest conversation about your employee’s rationale for leaving can help you avoid key employee losses in the future.

Communicate with Your Employees

Employees never like to be left in the dark, especially when it comes to critical company developments. Keeping them informed will go a long way to earning trust and maintaining morale. While no employee is going to be thrilled about having to pick up the slack during the hiring/replacement process, being upfront about the need to pull together until the perfect candidate is found will allow your team to work towards a common goal.

Be Patient in Filling the Position

Another common mistake is moving at light speed to fill a key position. Sure, waiting will place undue pressure on you and your team to fill the gap. But making a rash decision has the potential to stretch into a long-term gaffe if you hire the wrong person. Take the necessary time to identify quality candidates. That’s the only way to ensure you’ll find an ideal fit for your company.

Remain Methodical from A to Z

The biggest lesson to learn about the loss of a key employee is to keep your cool. Panicking will only make the situation worse. Sticking to the termination playbook is always a great starting point. While in the moment it can come as a shock, taking a long-term view will ensure you make the right hire, and one that will be with your company for years to come.


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