One of your employees just left - don't get emotional.

This isn’t personal (unless it is, in which case shame on you)

Let’s start with a true story: a friend of mine handed her notice in. What followed was a catalogue of desperate and clingy behaviour from her once-respectable boss. This included repeatedly ripping up her resignation letter and finally the threat of turning up on her first day at her new workplace… oh the horror!

Your (now ex-)employee has made their decision. It’s been hard but it’s the best thing for them, their career, and their life. What you do now could make all the difference, and is critical when it comes to reputation management. Any (OTT) emotion or undesirable behaviour you demonstrate could come back to bite you on your business butt later. And let’s face it, it’s just embarrassing. Alright; strict covenants may be in place to stop the leaving incumbent talking to current staff, but nothing stops them talking to friends and people who may consider working for you in the future. A reputation as a crazy workplace is very damaging.


  • Take it personally or create an atmosphere
  • Block access to their work
  • Throw them out
  • Block them on LinkedIn

Any of the above will send a terrifying message to the rest of your workforce and ultimately, it’s just weird. Those exits that feel more like a relationship break-up are uncomfortable for everyone.


  • Have faith in your covenants
  • Accept that if they are going to take any business-sensitive information they would have already done it; they are smart, that’s why you employed them.
  • Remember your business is stronger than the one person who is leaving.

At the very least, keeping your emotions to yourself should avoid any awkward bumping-into-each-other moments. At best it secures a strong bond, a potential connection or business opportunity and someone out there in the world saying you are a great boss and a fantastic place to work.

People move on. It is expected that Millennials will change jobs every three years. These exits are something you need to expect, accept, and handle in a professional and appropriate way. If said-employee was a real asset, then play the long game. Wish them well for now and recognise that it may be of benefit from a business relationship perspective. They may even come back, with new skills and experience that will really benefit you in the long term. You never know.

Have you got a funny exit story? Let us know and share our blog.

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    Posted in Recruitment - 26th April, 2017





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