Getting Through Transition When a Key Employee Leaves

Sharon Boyd has nearly 25 years of experience between both the healthcare and marketing industries. In addition to being an RDH and content writing expert, she also holds a degree in business. Her responsibilities primarily include tackling the communication barriers between small business owners or healthcare providers and their prospective clientele.

Getting Through Transition When a Key Employee Leaves

Retaining quality team members can help your small business thrive. Your team is the face of your company. They’re the ones who know your customers, recognize faces when they walk through the door, and set the tone for your workplace. But life happens. People move, pass away, advance their careers elsewhere, or — these days — may not come back after layoffs during a pandemic.

When you lose a vital employee, you feel it. Especially if the loss is sudden or unexpected. It’s something that every business owner faces throughout their journey of running a small company.

What can be done to lessen the stress, ease the transition, and help your business come out even stronger on the other side?

Train from Within.

Now is the time to shine for your existing staff. Even if you never thought to give them new responsibilities or roles, you can’t afford not to at this moment. You may have your reservations, but sometimes we don’t really know what we’re capable of until we’re given more challenging opportunities. Doing so shows your team that you trust them and value their role in your company. In return, it strengthens your employer-employee relationship.

Hire for Character. Train for Skill.

Depending on what position you need to fill, keep in mind that skills can be taught (unless of course they require special licenses or certifications.) Finding someone who is a go-getter, responsible, and team player is crucial. If you don’t mind training them to do what you need them to, then make it a priority to focus on character during the hiring process. Again, this may boil down to training an existing team member, then hiring to fill their role, instead of the position that was originally vacated.

Give Yourself Some Grace.

Take a deep breath. It’s going to be stressful for everyone. Giving you and your remaining team members some grace and patience will prevent people from becoming stressed, hot-headed, or short tempered with one another.

Slow Your Schedule.

You can’t cover as much ground when you’re shorthanded. You simply can’t do the same amount of work without them. You’re also not paying their salary. So, give yourself a buffer to slightly slow things down (or schedule events further apart) just enough to make your schedule more manageable. As staff cross-train and you hire new employees, you can gradually build back up to where you were.

Consider Working with a Temp Service.

Temp agencies often get a “bad rap” among small business owners. But with widespread layoffs and furloughs, there are more people than ever who are looking for jobs. Communicate your needs with the agency and let them know you’re looking for a highly qualified team member. If they’re not a good fit, go with someone else. You’re not committed to keeping them, so you have nothing to lose.

Hiring and losing staff is just one of the everyday growing pains of running a small business. Even if it’s not something you’re dealing with now, you will in the future. Have a game plan in mind!