Your employees WILL leave you.


Da TNW Entrepreneur:

Finding the right people for your company is extremely difficult and important. Your company is your product, your vision and the result of your strategy but that is all just 20% of the total. The rest is made up by the sum of all your partners and employees. If the people suck, are stupid or uninterested it won’t matter how good their resumes look, you will be screwed.

Now lets assume you have put together a beautiful team of smart and ambitious people that all complement each other and strive to build the best company in the world.

Congratulations. So far so good.

One day in the future one of them will want to talk to you and announce they will be leaving the company. The reason won’t really matter or make things better. You will be seriously disappointed.

So what do you do?

How you deal with this has a great impact for the future of your company. You can scream at them, cry a bit, beg them to stay, or throw a chair at them. But in the end, by the time they confront you, you can be certain their minds have been made up. They WILL leave you.

So what do you do? You are going to lose them anyway. Might as well praise them, wish them luck, help them finish their work and throw a hell of a goodbye party. Shower them with praise make sure their last memory of your company is a great one.

So, when a partner or employee announces they will leave do the following:

  • Publicly praise them
  • Make sure you have a nice ‘farewell’ party
  • Help them with the transition
  • Don’t speak openly about their faults
  • Treat their exit as a logical next step for both of you
  • Make sure their last memory of your company is a great one. Now check out this quote by Cardinal Roger Mahony:

“Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members.”

As a founder, entrepreneur or CEO you could say that you will be judged based on how you treat the people who you don’t need anything from. Treat everybody well, including those departing employees, and who knows, maybe one day they will be back with a lot more experience.