Good help is hard to find. So when you lose a good staff member, what can you do to minimize the damage? [level-members]
First and foremost, be honest. If you’re not disappointed to see the employee leave – even good employees aren’t always a good fit – then don’t fake it. But don’t overdo the disappointment, either. When in doubt, err on the side of less emotion.
Do ask if they’d be open to staying in touch. It’s good to stay in touch with good employees because a) they can be great referral sources for other good employees and b) they may come back.
If an employee really is good, and things don’t work out at their new gig, they may be interested in coming back. This can be a great opportunity for you as the returning employee may be even better the second time around if he or she realizes how good a situation you’re providing. (Be careful, though, as some returning employees are returning as a temporary measure. They’re still not happy, but need the income.)
Finally, if the situation is right, do ask if they’ll share why they’re moving on. You may learn something about other staff members, how competitive your pay structure is, etc. It’s not always appropriate to ask, but if the opportunity arises, you can learn a lot about your own organization.