Grumpy kitty, Emotions with staff turnover

Digital Turnover is one of the highest…

Handling Staff Resignations is rarely easy. It’s a part of my job as a director that I loathe!

Raging, hurt, betrayed, relieved! These are just some of the emotions I have felt over the years of being a business owner when a member of hard trained staff hands in their notice. Being in the digital agency industry, applications and therefore employees are normally young, eager, looking to skill up and move on and regularly pinched by other agencies!

Our Glasgow SEO agency has a good name as a great producer of talent and as such we lose staff often to other big Glasgow digital marketing agencies – no matter how happy my staff are working with us.

The Resignation Letter
On holiday this week I have had a bullet to the eyeball with one of my team members handing in their resignation – a team member who whole heartedly loves our agency and continually spouts about how they were in it for the long run. To say I am shocked is an understatement. Whilst other managers are ready to explode with anger, I am emotional. I fight back my tears, my sadness and my emotion as I try to take in what has just unfolded before me. I do not sleep that night and awake feeling like much loved boyfriend has just left me. The feeling you see, is one and the same. Hurt, betrayal, loss, fear and despair. A saying I have recently been told pops to mind, “This too shall pass”. Sleep on it.

It’s Not Personal
Whilst this is far from the ideal situation and I yet again feel a failure (for being unable to stop the inevitable disloyalty of a young eager worker whom I trust and care for) I have to reflect and reassure myself that this is not a personal attack. It is simply competition in a creative city of marketing and PR agencies. If anything I should take this as a compliment – that other local marketing agencies consistently seem to want my staff for their teams. We pick good people, we give them responsibility, we nurture them and we produce the goods, ripe for the picking.

My advice to such a scenario are:

  1. Let go of your emotions no matter how hard. Instead put your energies in to a recovery action plan and keep moving forward.
  2. Don’t focus on one scenario. Map out multiple options and then take a few days to sleep on all before choosing your route.
  3. Consult with others, colleagues, mentors, family – whomever that may be to widen your net of ideas and give you confidence.
  4. Stay calm, stay centred. This too (like all the other shit thrown at you in being a good leader) will pass.

Remember, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Go out with your head high, your heart kind and get the best out of a bad scenario. Get what you need from the individual and keep pushing onwards and upwards.

Written by Jenny Arnold