Question: What are some tips for managing the difficult transition after a big player leaves your company?
“Team transitions are always a challenge, but can be easier if you operate with the assumption that every team member could leave at any time. Instead of dreading transitions, prepare for them by documenting how tasks are completed, best practices and tutorials. You may not be able to quickly replace an all-star player but these preparations will ease the transition considerably.”
SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE
“Since it can take weeks or months to replace a star team member, what you have to do is jot down the different things your big player did, then turn them into actionable items to be split among remaining team members. This way, work isn’t halted just because one person left.”
CELEBRATE THE LOSS!
“In life, you either earn or learn, and when your big player leaves your company, you’re presented with an amazing opportunity to learn. You will grow far more from this experience than any amount of money that person could have earned you. Be quick to look for the lessons that you can take to implement new things into your company. Don’t feel bad; feel good about what will come of this.”
BUILD YOUR BENCH!
“The more talented people you have in your company, the easier any transition will be. Make sure that your “big players” are always training other folks on their critical tasks, so that the team can pick up the slack when someone decides to leave.”
DON’T GET EMOTIONAL
“Take the emotion out of the equation. Figure out what it really means for your team, and just move forward. No one is completely irreplaceable, and challenges exist to teach us something. Learn the lesson and take it with you into your next step.”
OPENING UP POSSIBILITIES
“When a big player leaves, there is inevitably a large void to fill. Get your existing team excited by having conversations about how to fill that role, and allow internal team members the opportunity to take on a piece of the big player’s previous job description. By giving the option to in-house team members, you’ll keep excitement up and morale high and you’ll quickly fill the gap.”
“Challenge other employees and present it as an opportunity for them to step up and prove that they can be a big player in the business. Opportunity for advancement can be one of the biggest motivators in a business.”