A group of employees hold an informal meeting while their team manager speaks to them. Behind them is a bright, modern office space.
In business, it's inevitable that employees leave. But the circumstances behind those departures can hurt your business in many ways. The best policy is transparency and honesty. — Getty Images/Thomas_EyeDesign

In a perfect world, your employees would love working for you and stay with your company until the end of time. The reality, however, is that some will leave and in turn motivate their colleagues to do the same.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business examined employment data from a well-known retailer with high turnover rates. They focused on specific employee departures and how they impacted other workers.

Be open and transparent with your team when an employee quits or is laid off or fired.

Their findings explained that when high performers are laid off, their colleagues often feel insecure, undervalued, and underappreciated. They look for new opportunities and leave as soon as they can.

Turnover isn’t as likely and rapid when employees quit. However, when hardworking employees see that other hard workers have left by choice, they may believe there are better positions available and in turn start their job search.

When workers get fired because of underperformance, however, high performers may actually remain more loyal to the company. If high performers get fired and there is confusion as to why, legal issues and exits from other high performers are likely to occur.

With these tips, though, you can reduce the negative impacts of employee departures:

  • Be cautious about firing employees. Make sure you have a good reason to fire a worker or your decision may backfire on your organization.
  • Disclose the departure. Be open and transparent with your team when an employee quits or is laid off or fired.
  • Send out a positive message. Any time a high performer quits, acknowledge their good work and value in front of other employees.
  • Develop an offboarding strategy. Offboarding is just as important as onboarding — it helps transition employees out of your company gracefully, regardless of whether their departure is voluntary or involuntary.

At the end of the day, your employees are your greatest assets. Do your best to keep the high performers happy and engaged. Don’t let the departures of others hurt their morale.

Read More: [Mental Health in the Workplace: Headspace Health, Talkspace and Noom Target Employee Support Programs to Drive Growth]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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