This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Here are four ways to ensure that when a key leader moves on, your team will be able to deal with the transition:
Anytime an employee leaves a company, the rumor mill kicks into overdrive, even in healthy cultures. It’s human nature to wonder and to ask, why? This curiosity is proportionate to the departing employee’s position and tenure with the company.
Know that when a key executive leaves, it needs careful management – perhaps the most damaging thing an executive team can do is to gloss over the change. The optics of silence are infinitely worse than healthy discussion.
Of course, those who reported directly to the exiting leader will feel strongest about the change. Some may have an emotional or personal response, particularly if their former boss was well liked. It’s of critical importance to speak personally to anyone who worked closely with the departing executive. It’s so crucial, that if in doubt, widen the circle and speak to a bigger number of team members one on one.
When an executive departs, it’s important for the top executives to understand why. And if it was a leader they wanted to stay, what, if anything, could they have done to prevent the departure? Executive turnover can be a tremendously taxing experience for a company to go through. While some change is probably both inevitable and healthy, too much can cause turmoil. Learning from the experience of the moment can be most beneficial as new talent joins the leadership suite.
Was the executive given enough freedom, the proper resources or opportunities for more responsibility? Honestly assessing these questions can help you position their replacement for success.
Even if a replacement officer is immediately in the wings, it’s likely they will need some assistance as they transition into their new responsibilities. This provides a great opportunity for your entire executive suite to come together to share in the work and to welcome the newest leader. While this temporary shift in duties is necessary in the short term, you may also discover that long term, it can make sense to shuffle some responsibilities around based on the new team dynamic and individual skill sets.
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