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Ambassadors for life

Recently, I came across a discussion about two different points of view as it pertains to an employee who leaves a job.

  1. Treat the employee like a traitor
  2. Make the employee an ambassador for life

The employee in the discussion received a great opportunity elsewhere. The supervisor said something like this.

“I will miss you, tremendously. It is not just your talents, it is also your amazing sunshine attitude, your dedication, your positive influence on me personally. Whoever hired you is one lucky person. I am sure they will appreciate you as much as we do. I am so grateful to you for all the difference you have made. You will do very well, no good luck wishes are needed. All the best, and perhaps one day, I will get a privilege to work together again with you.”

Why is it that when someone resigns they are oftentimes treated like a traitor? Should we not be happy that they found something even better?

Over the course of my career, I interviewed hundreds. In doing so, I always look for growth-potential in the candidates. Does this employee have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job? Yes? Do they also have the ability to take over my job one day or advance in their career? If so, the employee is seriously considered.

When an employee resigns:

  1. Thank the employee for their accomplishments that benefited the company
  2. Treat them with the utmost of respect
  3. Invite the employee to reapply for a position at the company again in the future

I have had many employees leave to pursue greater opportunities. While it sucks for me at the time, it allows me an opportunity to train up someone new to take over my job one day. I can name a number of ex-employees that are now in high level executive positions at their companies.

Just this past week, an employee left the company I work for. As I shared departing words, tears filled her eyes. She handed me a gift bag and asked that I open it. In the bag was a coffee cup in the shape of an apple with the words, “Teach, Inspire, Grow.” She said, “You were like a teacher to me.”

Ex-employees, if treated respectfully when they leave, are your ambassadors for life.

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