Losing a member of staff is never nice, but when it happens to be one of your most trusted and dedicated team members, it can deal a real blow to your morale and confidence. If you do lose a member of staff, then the key is to learn from their departure and replace them as soon as you possibly can - but at the same time, you must also not rush into a new hire.

Below, we’ve put together everything you need to know about moving forward after losing a member of staff, and how to use the experience to better your business and hiring process.

Understand why they want to leave

One of the first things that you should do is understand why they wanted to leave. Perhaps they are unhappy with your management style, or maybe they’ve found a position with a better salary? Hold an exit interview and ask them to be honest - and be prepared for the criticism. Indeed, 75% of those who voluntarily left a company leave because of their boss, not because of their position. Review everything, and understand what went wrong.

Reassure existing staff

Once you’ve got to grips with the reasons why your member of staff left, you should reassure your existing staff and give them the support they need to keep working. If a manager or head chef quits, for example, then morale in the workplace will suffer. You need to instill confidence and motivation in your team and show them that you’re there to support them.

Work with a recruitment agency

If you don’t have the time to spend weeks looking to find a replacement member of staff, then you should look to a specialist to help you fill your vacancy. Indeed, specialist firms have access to a pool of top talent, so whether you need a new general manager or you work with a company offering hospitality recruitment, you’ll quickly find the staff you need to get back to normal. What’s more, a recruitment agency takes away the pressure - you can focus on the day-to-day running of your business whilst someone else finds your talent.

Don’t accept the first applicant

It can be tempting to settle for the first member of staff you’re offered, but you should meet with several people before you decide on the right fit for your business. Whether you run an office, a kitchen, or a hotel, ask them to conduct a work exercise so that you can see their skills first-hand, and consider second-round interviews to whittle down your top choices. The wrong hire could change the dynamic of your business or cause even more staff to quit, so don’t be lazy. Putting in the work and waiting for the best person for the job makes sense.

Invest in your human resources

Business is all about people, and so if your staff are unhappy or they’re not getting the training and support that they need, you’ll struggle to retain them for the long haul. Make an effort to invest in your human resources, and if you cannot afford to hire a specialist HR for your organization, then you should at least think about paying for training courses and giving your staff more responsibility within the business to add to their sense of purpose and worth.

There you have it - five things you need to think about when you lose a key member of your team. Try not to take a departure personally - people have their own reasons for leaving, and may not necessarily be telling the truth when they resign. Be strong, accept that resignations will happen, and focus on maintaining and building a team full of experts. Good luck!

Published by Joseph Nicholls