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3 things to do when your top talent quits

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Getting a letter of resignation from a steadfast and talented worker is perhaps every boss’ worst nightmare.

Having depended on these valuable and efficient employees to meet targets and objectives easily, leaders are threatened with the possibility of encountering losses and inefficiency when such talent pools announce their plans to leave the organisation.

Here are a few suggestions on what to do when there is a sudden void of what you once thought was indispensable talent:

1. Find out why

Reviewing reasons for why your staff wish to quit your company gives you an opportunity to discover those factors which might be discouraging staff to continue working there.

If your top talent is leaving because of job opportunities in another company, find out the factors which seduced your employees to leave, be it a more competitive salary or a better working culture. Remember that these are your gifted and talented talent, so it is unlikely their reasons for resigning will be trivial.

Conducting a candid and possibly more casual exit interview could also help you leverage on their suggestions to make your company a more attractive place to work. Continuing to establish friendly working relations with them is also a good idea, so you can open up opportunities for them to return to your organisation after gaining more experience.

2. Focus on skills training for existing staff

Now that there is a competency and skills gap in your organisation, it is important to address it by focusing more resources on existing staff.

It is entirely possible other members of your team might have potential to become part of your top talent pool but were never granted the opportunity to do so.

Encourage your team to stretch their potential, and provide more opportunities for them to learn, be it via more training sessions or including them in strategic decision-making conversations.

3. Take on the extra responsibilities yourself for a time

It is a good idea to roll up your sleeves and take on your ex-employee’s responsibilities and tasks to the best of your abilities.

Doing so will help you gain a better idea of the challenges and opportunities present in such a job, and will help you understand which processes and functions could be improved within your organisation.

In addition, it will also enable you to spend more time working with your subordinates and enhance your understanding of their working styles and capabilities, helping you to become a better leader.

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