In a press conference held Monday, Peyton Manning announced his retirement from the NFL, ending an 18 year career and leaving behind an even bigger legacy. Losing a valuable team member or key employee like Manning will always be difficult; it is inevitable. Because it’s bound to happen at some point, the best and smartest thing to do is prepare your organization to handle the transition as smoothly as possible. Here are some questions to ask yourself if your top performer decides to leave:

Why is your employee leaving?

As part of the coaching staff for your company, overcoming staffing concerns will always be on your priority list. Why Peyton Manning decided to retire is obvious to most people, the reason your employee is leaving may not be as clear. To make sure everyone is on the same page, it’s important to understand what motivated your employee to leave. Conduct an exit interview with them to get feedback on what prompted their exit, and take advantage of the opportunity to find out if there is anything your company could have done better or differently. Figuring out why they are leaving may help prevent the loss of another employee. Conversely, they may be leaving because of an illness or poor health, like a football player retiring due to injury. If this is the case then you will want to protect your business from the financial issues that come with losing a key employee. You can get insurance for your business to prevent financial loss should this happen, go here to compare quotes.

How do you approach the issue?

The Denver Broncos coaching staff and administration had only good things to say about Peyton Manning’s retirement, with head coach Gary Kubiak even calling him a “blessing to coach.” This goes to show that the best approach is a positive one. The transition will be hard enough as is, so approaching the change with a positive mindset is your best strategy. There could be an opportunity to seize from the valuable employee leaving and room for improvement in your business.

How do you handle their remaining time in the organization?

Peyton Manning leaving the NFL didn’t come as a surprise to many; your employee may decide to leave abruptly. It’s a wise decision to make good use of his or her remaining time. This person knows the secrets to success in the role, so gaining insight into how they exceled in that role will help set the next hire up for success. Involving the departing employee in recruiting for a replacement could also be helpful because they may have ideas on the skills and attributes you should be looking for.

How do you restructure your organization to fill the role that employee left behind?

The departure of Peyton Manning leaves the Broncos with a significant gap in their team as they now need a new starting quarterback. When a key employee leaves, the best thing to do is first evaluate your organization’s structure. This will allow you to determine if you need to hire a replacement or if the responsibilities can be shifted among other employees. It can also help you to decide whether you will hire internally or look outside the company for a new hire should the employee’s position need to be replaced.

What is the best way to handle the other employees?

Being a team player, Peyton Manning was a guy that other guys wanted to play with. In light of his departure, it may take the Broncos some time to get their rhythm back. This issue can also be true for your workplace when a key employee leaves. It’s important to realize that a transition like this may put added stress on other staff members, and they may be nervous about next steps. Duties and responsibilities could be shifted, and the remaining staff may wonder if they’ll be taking on more tasks. Reassure staff that the team will continue to run smoothly and communicate with them the plan moving forward. To further help employees cope with the stress this change may cause, download the Stress in the Workplace checklist in the Knowledge Center section of your portal.

How should you plan for a future loss of a valuable asset to your team?

Star athletes like Peyton Manning all have to leave the game sometime. No one can play forever. In the workforce, there is a strong likelihood of another key employee leaving your company—it’s simply a part of business. For this reason, preparing ahead is essential. Instead of always being worried about losing your next top employee, try building a stronger and more flexible team that is prepared to handle a hard turnover.

As an organization, it’s imperative to properly train your employees, and prepare them for their next responsibility should another transition occur. For example, when engaged in a tabletop exercise or testing a particular crisis response plan, sit your starters so the bench can step in and develop their skills. That way, if the person leaving was assigned a critical role as part of your response plans, you already have other personnel who can take over that responsibility.

For more information on ways to overcome any business disruption large or small, visit the portal or contact your Customer Success representative.


2015 Content Intern