I grew up a skinny kid who loved football. Worse, I liked defense a lot more than offense! One of the lessons I learned from those days was the best chance I had to tackle the other player was to square up and take the play head on.
In our businesses we often have challenges as well. Sometimes those challenges look bigger than we are, or at bigger than we think we are. Again, in my business life I have found the best way to confront tough challenges, or problems, is to square up and take them head on.
An issue that confronts all of us from time to time is the fallout from a popular or significant employee. When someone leaves, the business goes on but there are momentary challenges of work left undone, relationships with vendors or customers perhaps temporarily impacted and sometimes morale issues among remaining employees. It’s tempting to ignore these things, knowing that time will take care of them.
While that strategy almost always works in the end being proactive works better! I have found when you lose a team member its best to communicate the challenges that person leaves behind for the rest of the team – to the team. Without criticizing the departed, or minimizing their prior contributions, acknowledge that there will be more work, and perhaps a few fires, for everyone else.
It’s also a winning strategy to communicate with those outside the organization that are important to reassure them that as the owner you are engaged and on top of managing the business. They already know that the quality you are known for is not dependent on any one employee. But take the concern head on and reassure them.
Sometimes the departed employee is hurt or disappointed. Perhaps they didn’t leave voluntarily or they left upset for some other reason. People in these kinds of situations often lash out and try to hurt you as a way of getting “even”. Of course its immature behavior but it still causes issues which you, as the business owner should not ignore. Again, tackle the issue head on.
As you look toward the New Year I hope that you will find lots of success and victory! I’d also like to encourage you to remember that challenges, like running backs, are just temporary. Tackle them directly and move on to victory!