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Traction Inc.

10 Jul The Best Way to Handle Losing Your Star Employee

Posted at 8:00:00 AM by Chris Hallberg

How do you survive when your star employee decides to leave? This is a time when a formal business business-management-system-for-losing-star-employeemanagement system and the EOS operating system may be very useful.

Like any business owner, you have identified one or two key people in your organization who seem to have a special ability to “get things done” even in the most difficult situations. Unfortunately, while you see these qualities in an individual, others may see the same things and make them an offer they can’t refuse. Or they may need to move on for personal or professional reasons. In either case, it may be a good time to contact an EOS implementer and find out more about how the EOS operating system can help you deal with the situation. 

Remember, every position is replaceable.

It is very important to remember that every person is replaceable.

Depending on the size of your growing business, there comes a time when nearly everyone’s role changes and when that key employee leaves, the best thing you can do is think about the “role” they played in your company and less about the “person” who was in that role. 

What functions or tasks did they perform? Were they always the best person for that role or did it simply fall to them because it was convenient? Are there others who could accomplish the same tasks when give the opportunity?

Understand the Damage

Objectively “evaluate the damage,” and think through what impact their leaving will have on you, the company and other employees. Will others follow your key employee out the door or will they rise to the occasion and make you wonder why you didn’t place them in positions of responsibility sooner?

You will want to consider what projects they were working on or with what customers they had direct interaction. Will they take customers with them or are there customers or suppliers who should be contacted immediately for “damage control?” 

Did they give two weeks notice or just storm out? How they left needs to factor in your decisions on what to do and when. Remember that other employees are watching your reaction and it is important to stay cool in the face of adversity. 

Take Action

The most important consideration is to demonstrate leadership and to take the necessary action immediately. Make list of the most important issues you need to address and get to work. Stop thinking about the negatives and look for the positives. 

You may find that by apportioning out some of the “roles” filled by the departing employee that you may not even have to replace them so that in the end, it may even be a good thing for everyone involved.


As with most situations that occur in a small business, a certified EOS implementer has “been there and done that.” Using a formal business management system and components of the EOS operating system. They have a wealth of experience on employee relations and can help you identify an action plan that will serve you for this and other employee related issues.

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Topics: Business Advice, EOS, Business Tools