As an employee retention speaker and employee retention author, I regularly hear employee retention horror stories. One of the dumbest ones I heard recently is how the boss was badmouthing the person who was leaving. To what purpose? From an employee retention strategies perspective, this is the dumbest thing you can do. Yes, it might make you feel good as a boss, but it will boomerang on you.
When you badmouth a departing employee, the remaining employees are watching and see how you are acting. They immediately start to wonder if you aren’t badmouthing existing employees when they are not present. They start to wonder if that’s the way you will treat them when they leave. All of these doubts make them much more susceptible to overtures from other organizations. Doubt breeds receptivity. Receptivity breeds turnover.
In fact, you need to treat the departing with class. Wish them well, thank them for the service they gave you and send them on their way thinking that perhaps they shouldn’t be moving on in light of how gracious you are being. After all, a lot of organizations treat people like dirt after they submit their resignation. Many people leave because they THINK the grass is greener on the other side of the fence when, in fact, it is not as green as they think.
When you treat the departing employee with respect, you will get respect from the remaining employees. That respect buys you a lot. Your goal as the boss isn’t to feel good. Your goal is to drive employee retention and the respect you gain helps you do exactly that.