I don’t know what it is with leaders and managers but there seems to be a consistent inability to let people leave well. Understandably we have an emotional connection with choices made by others but it is important that we see a bigger picture.
Remaining team members will watch how we respond to those who leave and make their own conclusion. Even if they don’t comment the judgement they make will be store up and form the basis for their future trust in you as the leader.
Here are five ways to let people go well, each of which will have a positive effect upon the rest of your team or group.
1. Don’t cut them completely out of the picture. The temptation is to Tippex them out of your world as if their contribution wasn’t important. This will only serve to make you team feel like commodities; only valuable when they are of use to you.
2. Only communicate the leaver’s own reasons for their decision. Never add your own commentary to it. This will only serve to make you look bitter. If their reasons are of a difficult nature then take the time to agree together what you will tell people.
3. Celebrate with them about their future. This allows other team members to talk freely to you about what will happen next.
4. Try not to take things personally. Often people will take the opportunity to offload on you about their frustrations. Try not to over respond.
5. Take the opportunity to learn. There are many reasons why people move on and therefore many things we can learn from the process. Change will always happen; how we deal with it can strengthen what we do in the future.