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Boosting Staff Morale When an Employee Leaves

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Staff Morale Exit Interview Employees

When members of staff leave a company it can make dent in staff morale. But the actual circumstances surrounding the employee’s departure can also make a difference when it comes to decreased staff morale.

Why Staff Morale Drops when an Employee Leaves

At times, being an employee can be like being part of a family. Staff members who are well liked in the workplace who then depart from a company can definitely be missed. This departure can decrease staff morale and can have an impact on workplace productivity. If a member of staff quits a job due to being unhappy with working conditions this can also have a definite effect on staff morale. It’s not uncommon for one member of staff to leave a job only to be followed by others who are equally unhappy. Employers do need to consider ways to boost staff morale and address this problem if it is affecting their workforce.

The Reason behind an Employee’s Departure

If an employee leaves the workplace of their own accord, for example retirement, this may not cause too much damage to staff morale. But an employee who resigns due to working conditions or conflicts with the management could have highlighted unacceptable problems to other staff members. Staff members will sometimes put up with less than adequate working conditions simply because no one else has mentioned them. But if one member of staff does speak up and eventually leaves due to this reason it can start a ripple effect. Managers should listen to employees who are voicing their concerns and who feel strongly enough to resign over working conditions.

Managers and Boosting Staff Morale

Managers should consider the effect on their employees when a member of staff does leave. It may be the case that a new employee will be required and the remaining members of staff will have to increase their workload for a period. This could be a time of change for the remaining employees and managers do need to reassure employees how this will be dealt with. Meeting staff members either individually or as a group to consult on the change can be a good idea. Allowing staff members to voice their concerns and hear of any intended changes can be enough to stop staff morale decreasing.

Assess the Workplace Environment

If an employee does leave the workplace on less than good terms it may be an idea for managers to assess the situation. There could be a few simple improvements to the workplace that could be addressed. Consulting staff members and taking their views, for example through a workplace survey, can be enough to boost staff morale. But empty management promises should be avoided and changes should happen quickly to boost flagging staff morale. Some idea of the workplace problems may already have been brought up from the departing employee during a work exit interview.

Give Recognition during a Stressful Period

A departing staff member can often be a stressful time for other employees. An employer or manager can boost staff morale simply by giving praise and recognition where it is due. Staff members who have had to deal with increased workloads due to a co-worker’s departure should be thanked by the management. This can either be a hand written note or thanks during a staff meeting. Giving recognition is important and employees will appreciate that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Other Ways to Give Recognition and Boost Staff Morale

There are a number of easy ways to help boost staff morale through simple recognition from managers, this can include:

  • Taking a team to lunch as thanks if one member of the team has decided to leave
  • If employee’s workloads are due to increase for a period look at ways to boost morale such as giving time off in the future
  • Reassure employees that a replacement employee will be found or that increased workloads are only a temporary measure
  • Take a survey or ask for opinions from employees over points that could be easily improved in the workplace
  • If employees are worried about the changes do remind them that the manager’s door is open to them to voice their concerns
  • Any employees who have took on extra duties should be rewarded either financially or with time off
  • Make sure to schedule an exit interview with the departing member of staff to assess the exact reasons for departure
Boosting staff morale is not a difficult task for resourceful managers. Managers should be able to quickly spot what effect a staff member leaving does have on the remaining employees. Managers who reassure employees of the changes or consequences that come from the departing staff member should be able to stop staff morale decreasing.

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