Staff Change = Opportunity

Recently Sherpa experienced a spurt of resignations and a dismissal. In total two folks are leaving for new opportunities and a third wasn’t a good fit for our business.

Staff Turnover is expensive. We hate to see valued team members leave, and it’s important to be introspective when churn happens.

When we have change like this, Sherpa is committed to the following process.

 

1. Exit Interview

In a constructive and open-minded fashion, we give the departing employee an opportunity to help us understand what was missing from their relationship with Sherpa that put them in a state where an external third party could interfere with their commitment to Sherpa. It’s important to give them an opportunity to speak their minds and it’s even more important to uncover constructive and actionable feedback.

 

2. Leadership review

Meet with the department manager to understand if the proper guidance and opportunities were provided to help the staff member understand how they fit within our group of Yetis and what their path forward is within their group and Sherpa in general.

 

3. Team review

Connect with the remaining team members to take their temperature. How are they feeling? Is there any change necessary from a leadership standpoint?

 

4. Compensation 

Are we competitive in our pay and benefits? Are we flexible enough in our policies? What are industry trends?

 

5. Hiring 

Review our hiring process. How did the person get through the interview process and onboarding without us truly understanding their aspirations and inherent talents? Can we do a better job asking better questions and creating tests that expose a prospective employee’s abilities or lack thereof?

 

After this period of introspection, several opportunities will present themselves. It’s time to spring into action with the former Yeti departed. The next steps in the process are to see if we should:

 

Upgrade

Did you eventually have buyer’s remorse when you spent months or years working with the dearly departed? I learned from a colleague at another agency that a great question to ask yourself “Knowing what you now know about the employee, would you hire them again?” If you wouldn’t, then it’s a chance to find and hire someone more capable and/or more committed.

 

Pivot

Is the position still integral to your business? In a fast-paced agency environment, would you be better off hiring to fill a brand-new role or back-fill a team that’s reached max output?

 

Save

Look at your 3 and 6 month forecasts. Do you even want to spend the money? Is there work to support the replacement?

 

Training

Is there a gap in skills for the head of the department from which the employee departed? Did we not fulfill our obligation to the employee and properly onboard and train them so that they could excel in their role?

If you aren’t disappointed when you receive a resignation letter or must dismiss an employee, it’s likely that you are doomed to continue to have staff churn and the disruption that accompanies the turnover.

 

At Sherpa we take hiring and turnover VERY seriously. We are still a small enough company that every hire massively impacts our culture and productivity. Hires and dismissals are agonized over thoroughly. Every departure should be looked at under a lens of humility and if done correctly, your company can become incrementally better.

By employing Sherpa’s guideline, you might just end up with more capable, loyal and happy employees.


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