How to Prepare for the Departure of a Team Member

The departure of a team member is inevitable. Even companies with low turnover see their staff members occasionally leave the team for various reasons.

When a staff member announces they’ll be leaving, it’s critical to have a plan in place to cover the key aspects of their work and to replace them with a qualified professional. Here’s how to plan in order to minimize the impact of this gap in staffing.

  1. Confer With the Departing Team Member

Talk to your team member about their departure. Which projects are they working on? What knowledge can they pass on to the person who steps into their shoes? What parts of their day to day work as absolutely essential for someone else to understand and handle, and which can be postponed for a few days or weeks until a new person can be found to fill the position?

Your departing staff member is the resident expert on their job. Avail yourself of this knowledge before they leave for more effective planning.

  1. Determine How to Cover Critical Tasks

Even in the best hiring situation, you may face a few days or weeks in which no one is filling the open position. Work with your remaining team members to ensure that critical tasks are covered nonetheless. By first identifying essential tasks and then parceling them out thoughtfully, you’ll ensure work is done without burning out any one member of your remaining team.

  1. Think Broadly About the Source of Your Replacement

It’s easy to think you have to post a job opening right away as soon as you receive notice that a team member is leaving – but don’t click “submit” just yet. Instead, think about your existing team. Is someone within your organization ready and able to fill the open position?

When you recruit from within, you strengthen relationships on your existing team and help reduce turnover by creating real paths to advancement. When possible, promote someone from within into the open position, and make outside hires only when you need outside skills to fill the gap.

Find Your Next Superstar With The Right Staff!

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our recruiters help our clients connect to some of the best new talent in the Twin Cities. We can also help you review your hiring and human resources programs to reduce turnover and strengthen your existing staff. Contact us today to learn more.

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