Staff turnover is a fact of life – as much as you might want to use your wishful thinking to make it go away.
Once you have accepted that fact of life – now it is time to prepare for it. Here are some things you can do to be prepared to successfully navigate the departure of key staff:
*Identify possible successors – internally and externally. Even if your organization is not large enough to groom successors within your organization, you can keep your eye out for people outside it. This could include sharp people you get to know within your community who are working elsewhere as well as networking at industry conferences.
*Utilize cross-training within your organization. In all too many organizations, only one person knows how to do certain tasks or processes. This is a bad idea for many reasons. If it takes a long time to replace a staff person you will be pleased that others can pitch in and take over some of those responsibilities.
*Provide professional development opportunities for staff at all levels. This helps build more resilience within the organization and allows potential successors for top staff to develop themselves.
It’s a bummer to lose top staff, but it is a fact of life. And, in a lot of ways, it is a complement to the organization when they can grow and fly on to more responsibilities in other places. The more prepared you are the better you can successfully transition to a new staff lineup and continue making an effective Mission Impact.