How to Support Someone Who Wants to Leave Your Organization

Traditionally if someone wants to leave your company, they don't tell you.  They look for a job, secure one, and then provide two weeks notice.  Leaving you to scramble to find their replacement, and if you’re really lucky, leverage some of their time left training the new person.  Transition becomes a fire drill.  And can often lead to hard feelings.

Employees don’t share their desire to leave with the intention of causing you strife.  They don’t tell their employers for fear of getting fired.  I’ve literally heard a manager say, “Well if you don’t want to be here, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

What a cluster.

Back in 2016, I had the amazing opportunity of having Christie Naus, my right hand Communications Coordinator, on our team for over two and half years.  I knew early on she would grow beyond Choose People.   And at that time I asked her, when you’re ready to transition, please let me know before you start looking for another position.

And she did.

When she shared with me her desire to be part of a larger work community (we’re a pretty small team) and to be in an organization where she would have opportunities to advance and access to full benefits.  She said she hadn’t started looking yet – and she hadn’t.  I was deeply honored by both her thoughtfulness and her courage to be straight with me regarding her desire to find her next career opportunity.  

Which left me with only one choice – to help her!  

Not a cluster:  she received support and encouragement in finding her next opportunity.  I received support in completing key work projects and training her replacement.

However here’s what’s even crazier – she found her replacement!  You know how you spend all that time and energy to find someone who’s the right fit?  Because Christie is truly committed to our mission, and she knows what the position requires, my management style and our culture, she thought about who would rock this role.

So let me ask you, if you don’t already, what would it look like in your organization to genuinely support someone who wanted to leave?

Perhaps you would forward their resume to your business colleagues, to your friends, make a recommendation on their Linkedin account, offer access to your Linkedin community, be their wingperson at a networking event, or even write a blog post to support finding a position that will truly leverage their brilliance in the world… 


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