I just saw the movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The film is about Flint, a nerdy inventor who transforms the sleepy town of Swallow Falls into a meteorological marvel where the skies pour pizza, hotdogs, and Gummi Bears. As the movie progresses, the Mayor of the town gets on board and places his order for what is truly a smorgasbord to die for. I don't want to give away the ending, but let's just say one needs to be careful for what they ask for.
I see a similar phenomena happening in businesses today. I hear leaders say they wish a particular employee would leave. They are thrilled when that employee gives notice. However, they are less delighted when the rest of the team follows. It's as if the skies have opened and it's raining resignation notices!
Here are some things you can do to shelter yourself from this storm:
Be proactive - Why sit back and wait for a poor performing employee to give notice? Take action. Counsel the employee on performance related issues and if necessary, manage their exit.
Don't be a hog - Share the credit when an employee is involved in a decision that gets rave reviews. The employee will feel valued and you will be perceived as a strong manager who inspires team members into action.
Please sir, can I have some more? - Don't make your employees beg for things that have been promised. If you've told them wage decreases are a temporary measure, then make sure you restore wages as soon as possible. Don't make them ask.
Prepare for the worst case scenario - A good manager has a contingency plan in place just in case the worst thing happens. For example, suppose your staff resigned tomorrow. Do you have a plan in place to replace them? If you had to, could you do their jobs until you hired a replacement? Are people in your organization cross-trained or is everyone working in a silo? How will you quickly train this new team? Now is the time to pull together your contingency plan. Do so before the storm hits.
A storm of resignations does not have to spell disaster. In fact, if you do your job well, you may never need to use your umbrella.
Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Human Resource Solutions
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