Losing a key player? Business as usual

July 20, 2015 - Tags: Employers

What would you do if you lost one of your organization's key players, with little or no advance warning? Employees leave for a variety of reasons: they get sick, change jobs, move away, or retire. Would you be able to continue operations as usual, or would you be facing a reduction in service and potential losses?

Minimize the risk of loss by creating a strong team

Prepare for the unexpected by minimizing the risk of it happening in the first place.

  • Hire flexible, independent workers who can handle change and adapt quickly when needed.
  • Foster a positive, motivating work environment to promote loyalty (give performance feedback, offer opportunities for advancement).
  • Delegate appropriately, so that employees are a good fit for their roles.

Maintain continuity by having plans in place

Losing a key player can have an impact on your business operations, your finances, and your ability to complete projects. It is therefore important to have a contingency plan in place for both the short and long term.

Train employees to be backups for key positions. This can be done through cross-training, rotating duties, or even relocating employees.

Key-person insurance

If something unfortunate were to happen to you or to a key player in your organization, you would want to ensure business continuity and avoid potential losses. Consider talking to your insurance provider to see what protections may be available to help you.

What to do if you lose a key player

  • Prioritize — Focus on the things that count until you're able to recover.
  • Delegate — If you have done cross-training, have your employees take on the most pressing tasks.
  • Communicate — Employees will need to know how their roles might change and what effect the loss will have on your processes. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to communicate with customers and suppliers as well so that they are prepared if you have a period of inactivity, reduced service, or longer wait times. 

Don't let losing a key player become a costly exercise in which your competitors come out ahead. Be prepared by having solid plans in place.

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