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A Senior Executive Resigns – Now What?

Taking a leap

Imagine this. It’s Friday afternoon and an unexpected meeting appears on your calendar. It’s a senior executive requesting a. meeting. A pit forms in your stomach at the news. You know what this likely means. Resignation.

What happens next?

You would be forgiven if reading this scenario causes you a bit of anxiety. There was a time when senior executives were leaving their jobs at the highest rate in U.S. history. In 2021, an average of nearly four million Americans quit their job each month. Today women in leadership positions are resigning at higher rates than men.

For any organization, the loss of a senior executive presents a challenge. Attrition causes disruption. In the worst scenario, a disruption can impact a company’s strategic direction and hinder growth. But it doesn’t have to happen that way.

We challenge you to reframe your reaction. Instead of viewing a senior-level resignation as a daunting challenge, see it as an opportunity for fresh thought, new diverse opinions, and, ultimately, growth.

After you get the news, start by taking a deep breath. Your instincts may tell you to panic, but there is a more useful way to approach this situation.

Once the shock wears off, process the news. Perhaps this person was an underperformer, or resistant to change and their resignation is for the best.

On the other hand, if you’ve lost a top performer, use an exit interview to better understand why this executive is moving on. Ask questions to determine how your organization can prevent future attrition.

Before making any moves, convene a meeting of the executive team. Get input from the team.

Ask the group these questions

Do we need to rehire a similar executive?

What skills are most valuable in this role?

Is there an opportunity to promote from within?

Who needs to be informed of the resignation and when?

Is there an opportunity to restructure a department or function within the organization?

This conversation will lay the groundwork for the organization’s path forward. However, there’s more work to be done to set the business up for success.

We created a step-by-step guide to support your organization through this transition. Follow these tips to make decisions and determine who you will hire next.

Download a copy of, “A Senior Executive Gives Notice – Now What?” Share it with your teammates and use it as a guide to weather these turbulent times.

If your organization faced an unexpected resignation, Talentfoot can help. Our team of experienced talent advisors can guide you through the decision-making process to determine the next best steps for your organization.

Contact us at info@talentfoot.com to set up a meeting.