One of your employees approaches you in person or sends you an email to inform you that he or she is leaving your company. Your first thought? Probably something along the lines of “Oh no, what are we going to do?” No matter the reason – starting their own business, overwhelmed with the work load and things at home, or just accepted a different job – this situation can cause this sort of panic in many construction business owners or managers, as every employee is an essential part of the team.
Though you might be feeling slightly helpless when this happens, or maybe even a little resentful, you need to ignore what you are felling and act professional. This is no time to get mad or to argue. Chances are, their mind is already made up so now it’s all about how you respond, as people will be watching you closely. Handling the news in a professional manner is essential and will determine how things go in the long-term. Not only will this help other people’s opinions of you but it will also help to leave the door open for a possible return from this particular employee at some point. No matter if they’re on the fence or if they’ve already made up their mind about leaving, show them that you care and that you want them to stay. By not just accepting their resignation and saying goodbye, you are proving to them that they are valuable which might just be enough to keep them at your company. Other times, it’s possible to work through any issues they might have been having in order to convince them to stay.
Next step? Damage control. Deal with the repercussions in your company quickly, as you know that people will be talking. If you say nothing, you forfeit the ability to control the message and the damage that comes from this entire situation. Transparency in the face of a serious challenge like this builds trust among employees. Be clear that the departure is unwanted and change is unavoidable but you have a plan in place to make it through the difficult time. Key to success is actually having that plan in place, not just talking about it. This is where the importance of cross training in a company comes in … so that way someone else at your company can step in on a temporary basis while your attention can be on solving the problem for the long-term.