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Tips to managing the void when a star employee leaves

One of the biggest challenges in a business is finding the right person to fit in your team. It becomes a nightmare to recruit and then retain the person in the business based on your requirements when your team is feeling the gap left by a previously prized team member.
Source: Supplied
Source: Supplied

Managers and leaders feel the energy drop when the star employee finds better prospects and heads in that direction leaving a void in the team and fellow colleagues work life. This departure will see a decrease in team morale and spirit.

Team members work well together when they have established a working bond. They are able to work well together to achieve the company objectives when they are on the same page with what the requirements are and what they need to do.

Most businesses have now slowly started to open up following the rigid Covid-19 working conditions. Since the start of vaccinations and the management of the virus, businesses have become more confident in terms of getting more staff at the office.

This now opens the floor to restructuring teams and perhaps replacing team members who might not have survived being in the company during the retrenchment process or laying off process.

As all eyes are on the management team to produce the dream team, the frustration can be when the dream team loses a key member. Replacing that member is both challenging for you and the staff that have to welcome the new member.

We have all been there. Joining a new work place is not walk in the park when all anyone ever talks about is the old team mate that left. The comparisons and reminiscing of the good old times can add pressure to the new recruit who might take time to come out of their shell.

Here’s what managers and leaders need to do when hiring a replacement for the team:

  • The key is diversity. Our workplace is the environment in which every day is a learning journey. Expanding your search for a new recruit to a larger group will assist in harnessing a more inclusive and diverse group of people with a whole new spectrum of information.

  • Avoid all bias during the process. Avoid in-house encouragement and social cliques when setting up your teams or employing new recruits. Make a decision on what is best for the team and the organisation.

  • If there is a void in the group due to the absence of a team member, try to suss out what is being missed. Is the person’s personality, work sense or the fact that this person was the one in the team doing all the work? It is important to identify where your team members are at. If we don’t identify what they miss about the old team member, then the new one might experience challenges when they are supposed to be welcomed.

  • Change is hard. But we must reiterate to staff and clients that people come and go in a business. When someone works for a company, they are representing a company and if they leave, they don’t take their clients with, they stay and must be managed by someone else.

  • Customers seldom leave a business because a person they were happy dealing with has left. What they do feel is the lack of service or even comparison to the new person handling their account. In order to avoid ruining the relationship ensure a proper hand over is done so that anyone managing the customers left behind.

As all things pass, this void to will. It is essential to remind staff that as much as they play a valuable role to the business, they also have a responsibility in ensuring they leave on a positive note. This means maintaining customer and staff relationships to the end.

About Devan Moonsamy

Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute. ICHAF offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, email az.oc.gniniartfahci@naved or call +27 (0)11 262 2461.

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