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What to Do When a High-Performer Quits

There’s never a good time for a high-performer to quit. Whenever it happens, it can feel like everything is imploding around as you scramble to fill the spot. However, be ready to give your best response with these four tips:

  1. Take control of your emotions.

It’s natural to be upset, but what’s said in anger will be hard to take back once you’ve calmed down. 

Remember that unless you’ve been acting like a real jerk, it’s unlikely that your high-performer has quit just to piss you off. Instead, they more often than not simply want more from themselves. So, keep in mind you want the best for them in life, not just on your team.

  1. Thank them for their contributions.

It’s important to leave your high-performer with good feelings about working with you and your organization. Showing them gratitude for the time and efforts they’ve made during their course of employment can go a long way in doing this. 

There may be an opportunity to work with them again someday, so send a clear message that your thanks are real and lasting. 

  1. Ask them to share their ideas.

Once a high-performer has chosen to move on, you should take the opportunity to politely ask them what led to their decision. While it’s also a great time to ask for their feedback on your leadership and their experiences with the company.

Finally, you might like to ask about their ideas for improvement. Once someone is leaving a company, they are far more likely to be honest about ideas they may have withheld in the past. 

  1. Give them an opportunity to say goodbye.

If someone’s made a big impact on your organization, show them the common courtesy of giving them a proper goodbye. Create something special for them and have them depart on a high note. It’s important that people feel valued at every part of the employment cycle.