Here is the reality you face…
We’ve pretty much all been there before, and if you haven’t, then let me categorically state that it’s not “if”, it’s “WHEN” it happens to you. Typically the resignation is not even in person but via email or text and I’m willing to bet it was as you started your vacation, or as you arrived at a family get together. Yep you know the drill!
Let me start with a concept I teach my inner circle mastermind Members. EVERYBODY LEAVES, and I do mean everybody. It always surprises me that when someone resigns, the business owner is shocked, disappointed, or completely taken aback by this. WHY? because it’s an absolute certainty that EVERYBODY EVENTUALLY LEAVES! Additionally to put your mind at ease, I’ve almost never had a situation where you don’t look back 3 or 6 months from now and think “wow that was the best thing that ever happened to us”. Might be a little tough in the short term, but often it’s exactly what you need!
The Problem is NEVER the problem!
The problem is never the problem, meaning that if a situation arises where a key member resigns and that leaves you in a particularly vulnerable position, then the resignation IS NOT the problem. Your preparation for their resignation is the problem. I can almost hear someone think “don’t be negative” or “don’t put that out there”. After 15 years, running 8 offices and 80 staff members at once and now having helped over 500 docs from around the world, I can tell you that there is absolutely nothing negative about that statement. It is not for example “negative” to wear a seatbelt in a car. The fact that you do wear a seatbelt, and plan for the worst, is smart. It is sensible and generally the thing to do. Yet preparing for a situation that you know for a fact is going to happen is somehow deemed as negative. Poppycock I say! Wakeup and smell the roses. EVERYBODY LEAVES , so start prepping.
Learn from it!
First thing, realize that this will not be the first nor the last time this happens to you, then breathe and exhale (and Breathe exhale Again). If you’ve prepared correctly there should be appropriate notice periods for key team members in your contracts that don’t leave you exposed, however if you have not done this then, step one, is to go back and review all contracts to ascertain where you are vulnerable. You may need to issue new ones. That’s something I’ve recommended many times.
Most people never hire bigger than themselves!
If you review your situation and one resignation really does leave you in a very vulnerable position then you probably allowed a certain person to take control of the business and protect key assets and procedures so that they were the ONLY person that knew them.
This helps them gain a certain level of control. It may not have been a conscious effort to do that by the staff member, but in my experience almost nobody ‘hires bigger’ than themselves or hires someone more experienced and capable than themselves so be careful to end up in a situation where a staff member also does all the hiring of support staff.
You bet your bottom dollar they will NOT hire an A-player that’s better than them. This is a subconscious effort to self-preserve their place in the business. You as the leader need to see where this is happening and de-risk by either spreading the load or knowledge or key knowledge base or as I like to call it “aggressive dissemination of knowledge”. This means that almost no single person in the business should be the only one that can do something. If you find yourself in a position where you have multiple single failure points your biggest take away from this email should be to write a list of every single failure point in the business and simply start creating situations where people need to be cross trained or a manual needs to be created.
Hope this helps.
If you have a culture, or hiring problem I’m happy to help – just click on the link and book a complimentary call with me (if you qualify).
Love and light,