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Thursday, July 2, 2020

C-Suite Agenda

The Power of A Great Employee’s Farewell

Manager Shaking Hands

I’m sure you’ll recognize the moment. You’ve just gotten your act together and rounded out the building of your team. And it’s a nice team. You’ve got a couple of great people around you who make you think, “I can win the war with them!”

But the moment doesn’t last. Before you know it, somebody wants to talk to you for a second.

“I’ve got a new job,” they say. And at that moment, the farewell begins.

Ouch! It’s a painful moment. It shouldn’t be such a blow, but it is. It feels devastating. All your precious and highly held images of going to victory in battle with this team suddenly just got a lot less vivid. Before the battle has even begun, you’re a person down.

But now, this person isn’t just one of the team that’s going into battle with you. Making the sting more intense is that this is your best member of the team. That one is leaving. You’re back to square one. New battle plans are required.

But how do you react? Are you angry or sad or disappointed? Are you able to summon any joy from the announcement? Are you happy for this individual?

Having built and run a software company that’s gone on to become a global brand with more than 15 branches worldwide, I’ve taught myself to be genuinely happy for whoever leaves the organization. Sounds funny, but their leaving is probably a good sign about you. Each person that leaves perhaps is going to take a step ahead that is important for them. He or she seizes an opportunity that would be stupid not to consider if it was left lying around.

Because of this person’s behavior, probably means you liked that person just because of this behavior because he or she is never sitting still, but is restless and on the prowl for new challenges to take on; improving and tackling things. It’s, therefore, not surprising that the good guys leave quickly.

Is their leaving bad for your company? In the short term, sure, it can be annoying to fill the empty slots by those left behind. These absences slow you down for a while, maybe even take you back a bit, but in the long run, it’s not that bad. After all, you’re able to get good people inside your walls. They blossom and grow and continue to do so until there is no available area of growth for them.

But worry not. In the meantime, you’ll find new quality and restless people. They might be less experienced, but they’re still good, and you can help them grow. So the cycle starts all over again. In the meantime, they will immediately fill in the gaps and be thrilled for the chance they gain through your business. Since the team is always moving and things are changing, there’s a chance that they stay longer and help lead growth and change in the long-term.

Don’t you ever see good people leave? Of course. Might it be that your company is the best on the planet? Why not. Even so, is it possible that you don’t have any good people on your team or only employee people who have long been happy to receive a salary even though they don’t like the work and that they know deep down that they are not good at it? Certainly.

So, which would you prefer?


Written by Wolter Smit. Have you read?
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Wolter Smit
Wolter Smit is the president of TOPdesk. TOPdesk provides enterprise service management solutions across 15 divisions globally. Wolter co-founded the company in 1993 and has grown it to include more than 700 employees. Wolter Smit is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.