Two members of my planning committee just quit! In the same week! And both responsible for the same tasks.
There was now a gaping hole on my team. And I had two options:
- Reflect. Evaluate. Act.
You know what I did?
I opted for Option #2.
When people leave your team or organization it can be disappointing and disruptive. And it is up to you, the team leader, to decide how disappointing and disruptive it is going to be.
It is good to allow yourself and others members of the team to feel sad, disappointed, and even frustrated. But it is important that you don’t dwell on it.
Acknowledge the feelings and move forward.
Moving forward means finding the opportunity; the opportunity to strengthen your team and find new talent. It starts with reflection.
Whenever a team member is lost, take some time, on your own and with your team, to reflect and identify the strengths and skills needed for the team and the job. This is your chance to upgrade.
- What are the skills the job or task requires?
- How well did the former team member do their job? What were their strengths? What were their weaknesses?
- What are the skills and strengths you would like someone new to bring to the job?
Once you have answered these questions, use the information to evaluate the task, job, and team. It is possible that the information you collected may require you redefine roles or restructure the team. If so be sure to:
- Define new roles and responsibilities
- Include your team in this process
- Be sure everyone is clear on any changes to their role
The last step is to ACT:
- Define the process for recruitment and on-boarding
- Search, select, and on-board new team members
Don’t allow change to distract you from the important work you are doing. Effective leaders are able to adjust and adapt as change occurs.
When people leave, don’t focus on what you lost; focus on what you can gain, then make it happen.