Part 2: My Best Employee Wants to Quit

It goes without saying that employee retention is a crucial part of running a successful business.

Where to start

People change, work changes, and employees sometimes consider quitting and moving on.

So, where do you go from here?

Finding a replacement for your best employee can be a daunting task you’ll likely want to avoid. We’ll make sure you have all of your bases covered so you can do everything you can to keep your best employee who wants to quit.

First, find out exactly why your employee wants to quit. They might be nervous that you’re angry, so let them know you’re sorry to hear they want to move on, and start a calm and open conversation where they can tell you honestly about their desire to leave.

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If you feel that a raise requires that they take on more responsibility, then let them know you'll come back to them with a plan.

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Is it a salary issue

This is possibly the easiest issue to address. Similar to our suggestions in Part 1, consider making them a timeline for exactly when a raise could happen.

If you feel that a raise requires that they take on more responsibility, then let them know you’ll come back to them with a plan. Perhaps you could have them work on sales or make them responsible for booking jobs.

More responsibility in addition to a raise could make them feel more involved in the company’s decisions (which could help you avoid having the same conversation in a few months time), and make everyone more money in the process.

Does the employee feel disconnected

Your best employee(s) should be plugged into the ins and outs of the company as much as they can be.

Maybe they feel like their concerns are not being heard, or that you’re taking the company in a direction they don’t like.

If you’ve been honest with each other up until this point, this type of open communication shouldn’t be much of an issue, so this is a good practice to start in your business if you’re not already transparent with your employees.

Are they unhappy with their co-workers

Nothing can breed contempt for a loyal employee quite like lazy, disrespectful co-workers.

If you work closely with the team on a regular basis, this shouldn’t be much of an issue, as you will see firsthand the employees’ dynamics and how they interact with each other.

If not, talking to your employee could reveal some issues that you should nip in the bud before you get more resignation letters on your desk.

Is it a scheduling problem

Maybe they feel like they’re being worked to the bone. Or maybe they feel like they’re not working enough and could make more money elsewhere.

A year-long plan of how you intend to grow the business, hire more employees, or pay everyone more could solve this issue.

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Don’t just talk about fixing things or say you’re going to do something without backing it up with a plan.

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Final considerations

Once you’ve identified what their concerns are, you can address them in a timely manner. As previously stated, outline how and when you’re going to address the problem and create a solution.

Don’t just talk about fixing things or say you’re going to do them. This could be the reason why your best employee wants to quit in the first place.

If you’ve tried everything and they still want to quit, that is certainly their right to do so. Be cordial with them on their way out. Don’t create any unnecessary drama.

You might even consider asking them to find a suitable replacement, perhaps even offering them a finder’s fee if the new employee ends up working out. While a high-quality employee quitting is a huge hurdle, it’s nothing you can’t work through or move past.

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