Resignations Can Become Contagious
Once a trusted and valued colleague departs for greener grass somewhere else, it encourages others to evaluate their own career trajectories. The logic is nearly flawless: If a person I respect thinks it is time to move on from our team, perhaps I should take a hard look at the same choice.
Even in teams with great morale, once one team member departs, it is not uncommon to see others follow them out the door. It is a fact of organizational life that resignations often become contagious.
When valued team members begin to explore opportunities elsewhere, it is essential leaders don’t panic or display any sense of desperation. If, after an honest assessment, there is not a single reason or glaring miscalculation for the desire to leave by some, leaders must circle the wagons and begin to protect the team without sounding the alarm.
Everything that projects confidence in the team and the path forward will help to offset any doubts lingering in the minds of some team members.
A common error leaders make is to apologize for the fact people are departing. Worse yet, some leaders openly express their regret that valued colleagues have beaten a path out the door. Both apologies and regrets undermine team confidence and encourage more questions and doubts.
Good leaders keep any personal lament to themselves, instead focusing on the exciting opportunities ahead of the team. They focus their attention and recognition on their best performers and remind everyone of the need to replace departing colleagues with even better talent.
By looking forward, not backward, the best leaders weather the storm of the resignation virus and rejuvenate the team with new energy and colleagues. Inwardly they know that the best team members are far too busy growing their own lush grass to look for greener grass elsewhere. They project that confidence in everything they do and say until stability returns. Then, they remind themselves that the same confidence in the team and its potential is the right message to send all of the time.
Fast Transitions make for better relationships, but seems they could help with retention too!
That “honest assessment” is important that it stays honest.