What to do when your coworker leaves

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world,

and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches”

– Dita Von Teese

 Employee turnover – it happens. Despite best efforts or culture, employees still look elsewhere. According to the Work Institute: 42 million (or one in four) employees left their jobs in 2018. From an organization level, this can be a great opportunity to do some self-reflection as an astonishing 77% of those departures are said to be preventable. While this can create a difficult situation for the company, the impact is also deeply felt at the individual level. When your work bestie makes the announcement that they are making a move what do you do?

Go to lunch

This may be a stressful and uncertain time for you and your coworkers but remember it’s also stressful for those leaving too. Take some time to celebrate with them by going to lunch or having coffee. It can give you the opportunity to learn more about why they are leaving and the ability to wish them well on their journey.

Connect Digitally

Making sure you’re connected on LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch and better yet: exchange recommendations on LinkedIn. You never know where life will take you or how your paths may cross again – so leaving a glowing last impression is a great way to end things.

Expand Your Office Network

When you have a small circle of friends at work and one of them leaves it can have a huge impact on you. If you find yourself consistently chatting with one person take some time to expand your network. That way, if/when your work BFF leaves, you’re not at a total social loss. Plus, getting to know more of your coworkers only creates a positive experience for all.

Stay Positive

This can be a difficult and stressful time for everyone involved. Staying positive can not only make the transition easier but also help keep your mental health in check.

Take Extensive Notes

Chances are, if you worked closely with this person some of their work will be transferred to you, if only temporarily. Use their remaining time to take extensive notes on projects they have been working on. Not only will it make your job easier, but it will also demonstrate admirable qualities to management and create opportunities for new responsibilities…next time a promotion comes around those types of behaviors are not forgotten!

Ask for what you want

If the departure has created an opportunity for a career advancement don’t be afraid to ask for it – or decline it. A departure creates the perfect opportunity to be clear about your growth and career goals with your boss. Sit down with them and pitch why you’d like to fill the void (or why you’d like to stay in your current position). As always, transparency is best.

Want to avoid those 77% of preventable departures? An amazing workplace is a great way to help foster an amazing culture that employees don’t want to leave. If you’re interested in learning more give us a call, we’d be happy to help provide retention solutions that work.