Amazon ImageSo this morning my friend Bart walks in to my office and tells me he is leaving the company for another job.

Notice I said a friend.  That’s because that is what he is. My friend.

Part of me is terrified at him leaving (he’s a valuable, high performing team member).

Part of me is wondering how we will replace him (cause you don’t just replace someone of that calibre easily).

But the biggest part is sadness.  I will miss my friend.

Employee Engagement 2.0: How to Motivate Your Team for High Performance (A Real-World Guide for Busy Managers)


I wish it was something that wasn’t going to happen.  But the truth is, every single one of the reasons is a very good reason.  It is not so much a career change, as a redirection (because Bart has always had a clear direction about his calling in life).

 So what do you do when a friend at work decides to change jobs?

1.   Celebrate with them – most moves are momentous.  Don’t rain on the parade.

2.  Listen with openness – sure, some folks will leave with less than great feelings about your employer, but not always (and that is the case with Bart).  Listen to what the process was that led them to this decision.

3. Admit your feelings – Everyone today was saying the same thing: “It’s a good move, but I’m still going to miss him”.  When a friend leaves the company you work at make sure they know you’ll miss them.

4.  Keep the lines of future communications open – This is especially true if you are the company owner, but also if you are a manager.  You want to see your friend go out well, but you also want him or her to know there is a place for them if they ever are looking for a change.  Obviously this has to be true, but the point is that keeping the communication lines open helps the former employee continue to be a company champion.  You may just find good future employees because of his or her input.

5.  Realize the culture is changing – When I led a team in Taipei we had some degree of turnover as people finished their assignments and returned to the USA.  When people left the team “hurt” for a while, but we came to realize we had to address the gap that was being left so we could be better positioned for the future.

The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization (Collins Business Essentials)


When a friend leaves for another company, it can be a time of sadness, but it should be a celebration — that’s what we are hoping for Bart– the very best of futures!

What about you?  Have you worked somewhere when a friend at the job left?  What was it like for you?  Why not share a comment to tell us about it?