There are occasions when you will receive a resignation notice from one of your retail management team that comes like a bolt from the blue. We’ve put together some advice on what to do when a retail executive leaves unexpectedly.
Understand the procedure
Before drawing up any firm plans, clarify the details of their notice period with HR and whether there are any conditions written into their contract. For instance, were they expected to work until the completion of a project or launch, or were they expected to sign an NDA? If staff are simply moving on to another position internally, you may be able to negotiate a flexible transition period.
Find out what changed
An exit interview can enable you to understand the reason for the resignation and whether this could have been prevented. If the issue was with pay, responsibilities or career goals being unmet, you may be able to negotiate a better contract with them to stay on. The same is true if they have already been made a job offer elsewhere. Without being too pushy, try to glean as much information about the details of their new position. For instance, if their new role is with a competitor then it’s in your best interests to try and keep them in your company by making a counter-offer in line with their experience and value to you while still being realistic.
Communicate the news
Once the resignation is confirmed, you will need to relay this to their team and other departments. Ensure you have both agreed the message about their reason for departure and how this will be communicated and by whom. Be as honest and diplomatic as possible while being sensitive to the departing employee. Allay any concerns of the team they managed by sharing the processes you will put in place to make the transition smooth.
Arrange for a handover
When senior members of staff leave, they often take with them the lion’s share of knowledge about key projects, suppliers/stakeholders and processes that have become second nature. Draw up a plan with them about how they will use their notice period to ensure all daily processes and critical information is recorded to ensure the ship remains steady during their absence. Work with them to identify staff who can take charge of certain tasks during the transition period.
Prepare for your next hire
Often, businesses find the traditional two or even four-week notice period simply isn’t enough to get a replacement in place or to provide an executive coaching and mentoring to an internal candidate. In these instances, you may want to consider finding an interim manager. At Anthony Gregg Partnership, we have interim retail executives who are vetted for their skillset and previous track record of meeting key deliverables and organisational fit.