When a Critical Employee Resigns

It’s always a big blow to the self when a staff resigns. 

Two of my critical staff resigned last Saturday. One was a probationary employee who was already on the way out, and the other was my trusty lieutenant, who resigned because she needed to get pregnant.

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And even though I was prepared for any departures —- As my husband says, The Success of a Company should not lie on the hands of any one person — it’s still a big blow to the self when a staff member resigns.

For one, it makes you question if you could have done any better. That if you were a better boss, would they have stayed?

However, as I reflected back to how I treated them, I can honestly say I do not have any regrets. They were very much well compensated for the job position that they had, and I had just given my lieutenant a very big bonus for a job well done in 2018.

So it’s really not the money. Even our sister company head was surprised on how well we pay our supervisors.

But sometimes, family really trumps first.

At the age of 33, when your biological clock is ticking, how can you stop your husband from forcing you to end your employment?

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The key thing when a staff resigns is to GRIEVE FIRST.

Some doubt and reflection are necessary. Immediately, you will wonder what will happen to the organization after they leave?

You may panic.

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I worried about all the other employees who were left behind. How could I break the news to them? How will they take it? Will any follow?

But grieving and panicking are NOT healthy things to do especially when a person gives you a 30-day notice that they are leaving.

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Then, prayer is next.

The Lord is wise, and knows what is in our hearts. He knew that I was becoming very confident and optimistic for this year since the team that I’ve been building is starting to come together.

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Then He throws me this curveball.

To show me that no matter what, He is still in control, and He will do what is necessary to steer me towards His path, whatever it may be.

I honestly think it’s a bit unfair. I have worked hard over the last 4 or 5 years to build the team to what I want the organization to be, and is now fine-tuning the culture.

I loved the fact that everyone was so sales oriented, and exerted much of their effort. If anyone refused to follow my disciplined way of working, they can always resign and go somewhere else. Likewise, if people worked hard, they will be rewarded handsomely as well.

My lieutenant got in trouble last year for pushing her people too hard, and for being too arrogant. While she was correct in following the rules, her people thought her to be cold, uncaring and heartless. I chose my lieutenant because she was harder to replace and I saw her point.

Well, God has other plans for me.

This is what you call, A teachable moment.

At the end of the day, we cannot control our people’s hearts, thoughts and feelings. Nobody should be indispensable.

NOBODY.

So the Lord is training me to be flexible. To not be dependent on a single person. To still build the organization to a softer, more holistic one.

And while my lieutenant is wonderful in her own way, she had a few behaviors that people found grating and unacceptable.

Her departure would be another phase of development on what type of culture I would like my organization to have. A less dramatic, calmer organization where people would work, but don’t need to make too big a fuss about.

Regardless on what happens, I know that the Lord never gives us challenges that we cannot handle.

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“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2).

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Afterwards, the next thing to do is to find and train their replacement.

I scour through the job wanted ads. I will put an ad out on the paper. Tomorrow, I will look for agency referrals.

So in short, as the clock ticks, I need to exert much effort to ensure that I can find a replacement immediately, as my supervisors are still here to train them.

You only need one, I tell myself. You only need one. 

Maybe the Lord planned their exit to make way for someone better, who is now available at this point in time.

At the end of the day, my lieutenant was great but had some weaknesses to overcome to replace me as position of general manager. For the last four years, I have been looking for my replacement so I can focus on other more important tasks in growing the business.

Her departure showed that she is not yet the one to replace me.

Maybe her replacement would.

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At the end of the day, the key word here is to TRUST IN THE LORD.

I knew that after bonus season, I would get some resignations. People were cashing out on their hard earned work, and it was practical to do so after the checks had been cleared and the money was deposited to their account.

I was gobsmacked to see someone I trust turn in her resignation, even though I understand that it was for an important personal reason.

I don’t know yet what will happen, or how it would shape the organization. But inactivity (not doing anything about it), or doubt (questioning yourself about it) are the two most dangerous things that you can allow to happen when people resign.

Instead, you have to be strong for those who are left. And to quickly find a replacement so that there won’t be a lot of long term downsides to the organization.

As I’ve mentioned, trust in Him. Our company has always been protected by Him, and I know He would not have let this happen unless He had a grander plan for us.

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In my weakness, all I can do is TRUST. Be strong. Know that someone else is in control, and He has greater plans for us.

Happy week ahead!

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About Tina

I'm a forgetful person. But I think a lot. Every day, a lot of thoughts enter my head. That's why this blog came to be: first, to keep my memories alive through the years, and two, to actually see how I and my thoughts have changed. Please note that I seldom draft or edit my posts. Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I offend some of you, my readers. And while I apologize for making you feel uncomfortable, I am not sorry for being honest or for making well-intentioned mistakes. I will however be the first to admit if I change my mind. Hence, do read and proceed with caution. My life is as colorful and as boring as you make it. I complain many days, but offer some encouragement in others. Life is fluid, it changes. So keep the positives and throw away the negatives, and I do hope that at the end of the day, you will enjoy reading the blog and leaving comments here and there if my posts touches you. Happy reading!
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