Any employer aims to put together the best workforce possible and to keep them together
for as long as he can. However, there will inevitably come a time when a valued employee wants to leave for what can be a variety of reasons.
At this point, you may feel personally hurt, even if the move is for genuine personal or positive reasons. It is not helpful to take this attitude. Rather you should be thinking about how you can proactively manage your employee’s departure to everyone’s advantage.
You shouldn’t dismiss them as a lost cause. They still need to come in to work each day and you should retain a positive attitude towards them. With luck this may translate into positive word of mouth recommendations from them and possible referrals in the future.
Another vital step is an exit interview. If this is designed and conducted well it can provide valuable thoughts about future retention of staff. If somebody is leaving a company they are more likely to be brutally honest than one involved in an annual review, for example.
I recently heard of a company who were losing a valuable staff member. They organised a leaving meal for her and her colleagues. The whole affair was handled respectfully and sympathetically.
Some two weeks later the ex-employee realised she had made a mistake and was asking for her old job back!