The Talent war is still in full swing, and many companies are doing all they can to retain as much talent as possible. Many companies are implementing mentorships, high base compensation, bonuses, classes, and more in the name of talent retention.

Some of the ways you can work to retain your top talent are listed in multiple past articles; Top Strategy for Bridging the Talent Gap and Retaining Talent – MentoringTen Tips for Retaining Your Top Talent, and Top 7 Reasons Your IT Professionals Are Quitting. These blog posts are great reads if you want to take preventative measures against losing your top talent.

However, sometimes it’s impossible to retain everybody. Sometimes the reason people leave has absolutely nothing to do with what your company does, or does not do, to retain them. The point I’m trying to make, is this; it’s impossible to retain all of your top talent, short of tying them to a chair… Because of this, you need to accept the fact that you are going to be unable to keep an employee with your company forever.

Rather than regretting and bemoaning the fact that you have to find someone to replace them, it’s important to come to terms with the fact and do everything in your power to ensure they leave on a good note. Especially if they were one of your top employees to begin with.

Here are the three main things to do when your top talent is leaving;

  1. Accept and support their decision. Becoming angry over a talents decision to leave, doesn’t help anyone, and so be sure to maintain a positive attitude throughout the experience.
  2. Mentor them on the way out. Once they have decided that it’s in their best interest to leave the company, be sure to help them. Give them advice, coaching, or recommendations to ensure they will be successful when they leave.
  3. Ask them to lead a discussion before they go. If they are an expert in their area, ask them to identify a topic of expertise and then lead a group through that topic. This allows other employees to get a basic look into the exiting employees work so that it may be easier to fill the position from within.

 Why is it important to maintain a good relationship with talent even when they are exiting the company?

  • They may eventually want to come back. Many people who leave one company for another are attempting to go off to greener pastures, only to find that they enjoyed their past experience more. Additionally, many people leave for personal reasons and hope to come back at a later date.
  • They are more likely to recommend your company to their peers. No matter how great working at your company may have been for them, if their exit is stressful, they’ll be far less likely to recommend your business as a great place to work for.
  • You may have the opportunity to collaborate with them in the future. Their expertise has obviously been useful in your business, so no matter where they go, it’s likely they may team up with you at a later date in order to collaborate.

By ensuring the employees that are leaving your company continue to be successful after they leave, you’re not only helping them, you’re helping yourself.