Dear all,

one of my most valuable directs resigned. This means serious trouble for my department. I know that at that point the mistakes have been made (by me) in the past. The direct is a superior specialist, a good team-leader and is intended to make a career step soon (he knows about this).

Are there some

- "You must do...  immediately"

- "Never do ... in this situation." ??

I do not want to make "beginner"-mistakes unreflectedly until I found out whether I should simply accept the resignment or try to convince him to recall his decision.

Thanks for your assistance...


jrosenau's picture

Accept his resignation.  He has made his choice.  Respect that choice.  Learn from your mistakes and be a better manager.

Work with him to ensure his responsibilities are covered.  Leave him with a good impression of you as you never know your paths may cross again.



Davis Staedtler's picture


I agree with JROSENAU. I got burned like this many years ago. Since then, I've always had a succession plan with a bench of people I'd love to steal from other companies. You'd be surprised who's looking for a new job out there. Always be prepared for your star players to graduate onto something else, or get snatched up.

"You must..." I like what JROSENAU stated. Lean on your peers and press your leadership to provide what you need. Build a business case for the succession plan you know you need.

"Never do..." Never hold any grudges or panic. As Mike and Mark always say, "Breath in. Breath out. Move on."


jhack's picture

You might want to understand why he left.  If he's a pro, he won't tell you the negative, but you can ask him about his new position and role (even if he won't tell you the company).  His responsibilities and expectations for his new job might tell you a fair bit about what he didn't see in his role working with you. 

You might ask :  "Is there anything we could do to keep you?" and listen carefully to the answer.  

You need to explain this to your manager.  Make sure you have a plan for filling the gaps.  Describe the steps you're taking to understand who's at risk of leaving and how you will work towards better retention in the future. 

This cast has some good tips: 

Don't counter offer.  Make him know he's welcome back if things don't work out (and they often don't!) 

Don't gossip about why or where, don't say anything negative about him to anyone. 

John Hack

markbyantaylor's picture

To repeat some of the above;

Never, ever try to counter the offer.  That may buy you a short term win, but basically leave you in a position were, if they need a raise, they just threaten to leave again.

Always stay on good terms with them.

Always remind that they will be missed and leave the door open to keep in touch.  A few weeks into the new job, ring them up - see how it is going - keep the relationship going.  This is not about strong arming them back into returning.  Rather making them feel that there is always a home for them if it doesn't work.  The other advanatge of keeping the relationships alive is that should you missed something in the Knolwedge Transfer they will be open to quick call (really only use this as a last resort).  Note that the relationship should be a long term effort - if they are good - they should be in your network.

I'm not expecting you to keep thier job open, but you wouldn't want to miss a second chance if it doesn't work out.


N_Obi's picture

Dear Colleagues,

thank you very much for the comments. 

They helped me a lot to return to objectiveness ...

best regards ...