Why employee departures can be a good thing

I’ll be the primary individual to inform you that each firm ought to attempt to hold their greatest expertise. However I additionally am right here to inform you that you could be be underappreciating the worth a departing employee can deliver to you and your group. In some instances, they could be of upper worth to you than once they had been an energetic employee.

As an alternative of taking a look at employee exits as a important setback, employers can take a look at their departure as a possibility and probably even a good thing. If no person ever exits a corporation, few new alternatives are created for individuals to maneuver and develop into except the corporate is rising like loopy. Turnover is a wholesome and very important thing in organizations as a result of it creates new alternatives on your workers to be promoted and so that you can usher in new expertise from the surface. Plus, if the departure is a optimistic expertise, your exiting star will be extra inclined that can assist you, returning someday or referring different individuals to you. It’s essential to embrace the numerous potential optimistic outcomes from a star leaving over your notion of loss.

Individuals leaving your agency just isn’t the tip of the world. Maybe the time somebody works for you is simply the beginning of a longer-term relationship. Perhaps the individual leaving can proceed to offer worth to you and your agency lengthy after they depart, and so they may even perhaps return someday.

Let me provide you with an instance of what I imply. On Might 19, 2011, I had the glory of standing within the bell tower of the New York Inventory Trade with my fellow LinkedIn executives to ring the opening bell and rejoice that we had been going public. As we approached this date, our staff knew that our success would improve the worth of our workers and lead different corporations to attempt to poach our expertise. Going public is kind of an achievement, one which many corporations aspire to; therefore these aspiring corporations need individuals who know the best way to get that completed. We additionally knew that if our inventory climbed, it would make a few of our workers see their circumstances in a different way on account of a rise of their monetary safety. This may cause them to pursue a new path. We had been okay with that, however we didn’t need to be stunned if we misplaced a key participant. We had conversations with all of our high leaders and expertise throughout the group to make sure they understood their worth to us and to evaluate their plans.

Effectively, a few weeks earlier than we even made it to the well-known balcony on the New York Inventory Trade, DJ Patil, who was our chief scientist and chief safety officer, tendered his resignation. This was a shock. You see, Patil was an affect participant in so some ways past simply being tremendous in his function. He was a nice recruiter and a nice spokesperson, he has nice charisma, and we knew his loss would be felt throughout the corporate. Many individuals inside and outdoors of the agency admired Patil. He would be troublesome to switch. We met extensively with him to know his motivations, and once we did, we supported him and requested how we may assist. Whereas it harm to say goodbye, what occurred subsequent stunned me.

Although Patil left the corporate as an employee, he remained as dedicated as ever to LinkedIn’s success. He continued to refer many nice candidates to us. He made himself instantly out there any time the staff or his former bosses wanted him, and he supplied his recommendation and strategic concepts willingly. He saved being a nice recruiter for us! As Patil put it to me once we spoke about this a few years later:

“The explanation I continued to assist is that if you construct one thing of significance, you by no means completely stroll out the door. The mission is simply too vital. You’ve put a lot vitality into it that it turns into a part of you. A part of meaning ensuring nice expertise can be linked to superior alternatives throughout the group and nonetheless offering enter to the corporate/group on the way it can be higher. Give it some thought this manner: You’ve spent all these hours together with your colleagues. In lots of instances, you spend extra time with them than your individual household. When it’s a wholesome relationship, you’re taking the lengthy view and proceed to assist. And that worth is returned tenfold in relationships, future alternatives, and internet success.”

On the time, I used to be stunned how a lot of an affect Patil continued to make even after he left. We had been lucky he remained engaged, and it’s a testomony to Patil’s character and the respect he had for the individuals and the management that contributed to him taking the lengthy view of the connection. My expertise with Patil taught me that generally individuals who depart your group can proceed to offer substantial profit.

In the present day, the expertise pool, particularly the technical expertise pool, is fairly skinny and more likely to keep that means for a while. Corporations merely can’t afford to put in writing off expertise in the event that they determine to depart. Departing workers could return someday armed with much more expertise and experience. They can additionally function strategic advisers and referral engines for extra distinctive expertise to return your means, as was the case with DJ Patil.

Typically your departing workers return. Such “boomerang workers,” particularly proficient men and women who depart the workforce to be the stay-at-home mum or dad or caregiver, supply corporations a number of benefits, creator Tamara Jenkins writes: “They’re acquainted with your operations and tradition, know of your present workers and purchasers, and will require little or no coaching to begin making contributions. Usually they’re cheaper to rent, significantly if former managers have maintained contact whereas the employee is away,” and so they can ramp up rapidly.

Returning workers “will turn out to be an more and more beneficial supply of expertise over time forward,” Jenkins writes. “In what’s maybe probably the most steadily mentioned instance, some girls select to off-ramp for a number of years someday of their profession, and plenty of are longing for alternatives to return. . . . No matter whether or not their departure is voluntary or involuntary, it’s by no means smart to say goodbye to a good employee.” This doesn’t imply you refuse to allow them to go. As an alternative, you reframe their exit as a possibility to obtain a totally different form of worth from them.

They can transition from employee to supportive and engaged alumni. Maybe probably the most well-known boomerang employee of all time is Steve Jobs.


From Workquake: Embracing the Aftershocks of COVID-19 to Create a Higher Mannequin of Working. © August 2021 Steve Cadigan. All rights reserved.

Steve Cadigan is a expertise strategist and firm tradition knowledgeable. He’s famend for main LinkedIn’s expertise push from 400 to 4,000 in three and a half years and was one of many architects behind the corporate’s well-known organizational tradition. Workquake is his first e book.