Recruitment: Three things to consider when a key employee resigns

Beef Central, 10/09/2021

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IT IS often inevitable that a good employee will one day leave a business, whether to pursue another meat and livestock industry role or because they need a change from their current position.

But it can be particularly painful for any agribusiness business when that employee is considered an invaluable asset to the team.

While it can be difficult for a manager or team leader to accept and deal with losing a key employee, there are some strategies that can lessen the blow to the business.

React calmly and talk through the decision

While a natural response for a manager may be to get angry or upset, it is best to stay calm and talk through their decision.

Have an honest conversation about why they are choosing to leave.

If it is for a new opportunity or career advancement, congratulate them, ask more about the role and thank them for their contribution to the business.

If it is because they were not happy in their existing role, discuss what could have been done differently and what more they expected from their position.

A manager should remember never to take it personally (unless the employee states they are leaving because of the manager in which case further discussions are needed).

Relay to rest of the team

If the employee has given correct amount of notice, use that time for them to pass-on their knowledge to other employees.

Be transparent with the rest of the team – it is always recommended to let other staff know when an employee is leaving as soon as possible – after all, they may end up with a larger workload temporarily while a replacement is being found.

A manager should be honest and open throughout the process, and by being respectful to the employee leaving will incentivise them to help out prior to their departure.

Spread knowledge

It is never advisable to have an employee that is the only person who knows how to do a certain task or process.

Spreading such knowledge will avoid pain if a key employee does decide to leave.

Document how tasks and processes are done so that new employees can easily pick up their new role.

If possible, have more than one team member aware of how to do important tasks and processes.


When an employee resigns it can create uncertainty which can lead to stress, however the manner in which a manager handles the resignation can have a big impact on the rest of the team.

By setting the right tone, being honest and open and making sure knowledge is not contained to one individual, it will make the process that much smoother for all involved.


Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd




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