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  • Writer's pictureSean Lewis

You've just had a resignation, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.

In April of 2022, Gartner HR reported that “the pace of employee turnover is forecast to be 50–75% higher than prior years, and that it will take 18% longer to fill roles than before the pandemic." When those exits are unexpected, the gaps in knowledge are often costly and disruptive because that individual took with them vital knowledge pertaining to the company’s core operations and/or financial accountabilities.

The average rule of thumb is that it takes between six months to one year and approximately nine months of salary to replace a skilled individual (or currently termed “knowledge worker”). So businesses call on me take an inventory of needs, learn the current systems, and either maintain or improve them until my replacement is secured and who can carry on.

Business upon business, here the top three challenges they are facing when I arrive.…

1) Siloed Knowledge: Often, the roles and responsibilities of the position at time of exit are far more evolved than when the position started, and there is no-one internally (including the Principals) who understand the “how’s” of completing all the necessary tasks.

2) Illusion of a Working System: The systems that had been set up to support the exited role could only be executed by that person. The evolution of that role over time had created ad-hoc implementations and decisions that only that person could complete.

3) Competence Degradation: The exit of the individual identified numerous deficiencies that require repair in order for a suitable, cost-effective person to be remotely interested in taking over.

When the project is complete here are the top three benefits…

1) Greater Profits: Companies realized greater profits, either in actual profit through new/improved operations activities, or through better visibility into WHAT’S ACTUALLY GOING ON in the books.

2) Better Matched Individuals: Positions are not only able to be filled by the right people (either though external hires or internally trained), but also retained due to an accurate position description and the appropriate systems to support it. The new individuals are fulfilling the needs at the CURRENT STATE of the business with commensurate skills and experience.

3) Companies increase their growth curves: because there is new knowledge and confidence in direction and the CAPACITY for scale.

There is no doubt that, more often than not, you’ve already committed considerable monetary and emotional investment in the person who had recently exited. At first, the tasks of filling that gap can seem overwhelming and deeply disheartening.

However, viewed in the proper perspective and managed correctly, you’ve actually been given opportunities you didn’t realize you had.

It just means you need to find the right person to bridge the gap between now and better.


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