We have posted several blogs that advise you of the inevitable changes in the workplace as a result of the worst U.S challenge in our lifetimes. Dealing with and accepting these changes will determine the success of your company going forward. Conversely, ignoring these changes could allow your competition to erode your market share. One of these changes that will have the most impact on your company is the turnover among your management staff, which you could experience when your business starts operating at the same level as before the pandemic.


Loss is inevitable

Many small employers most likely will lose some of their management team. Companies will be needing better supervisors more than ever before, and good supervisors are extremely hard to hire and develop. Your competition may be raiding your management staff at a time when your people have had lots of time to think about another career or a more secure line of work or industry. How often you communicate with these critical employees during furloughs will determine how receptive they will be to offers from competitors.  You must make sure that you show your appreciation and value to your managers to prevent them from leaving you. Remember, employees do not leave companies, they leave bosses.

Mitigating Losses 

With possible turnover in your management staff, it is critical that you talk one-on-one with these employees while they are not working as well as when they return to work. Ask them what their concerns are going forward for themselves as well as their employees who inevitably will be returning to a new work environment. When your business starts up again, you should have your antenna up for a changed outlook or a chip on the shoulder of your managers or supervisors. One conversation isn’t enough at this critical time.

One-on-one weekly meetings for the first six weeks after they resume work is necessary. Then you should meet with these important employees every other week for a while. This sounds like a lot of investment of your time that you may feel you do not have. You should compare this time with the time it takes for you to source, recruit, and train a new supervisor, either externally or internally.

Handling Losses

There is another important aspect that you need to consider concerning your management turnover. When you have a respected manager or supervisor leave your company, this very much affects how much the employees in that area will like their jobs in the future. The new boss of these employees will have different management techniques that may not appeal to the employees. You should be very sensitive to this issue and discuss it with the new manager taking on the new leadership role.

It is best if a new manager does not make immediate changes for the first two or three months. Encourage them to get to know their new employees by having conversations in which they mainly listen, reading prior performance reviews and looking at other items in their personnel files. They should also understand that the people who are trying to be the nicest to them may not be the best performers – but are the best politicians.  Both you and your new manager should monitor the turnover rate of those employees under their supervision.


Do Your Research

When I was in Human Recourses Management in corporate America, I would request the turnover reports of every department in a location that I visited. Those reports would tell me where the problems were in that workforce. It may not tell me what the problems were, but when there was turnover under a certain manager, that usually was an indicator of poor managerial talent. The lesson to learn here is to be very sensitive to employee turnover at all levels in your company when the pandemic is over.


Author: Emory Mulling

Emory Mulling is a nationally recognized HR Consultant and Executive Coaching expert. As Founder and Chairman for the Mulling Corporation, the Mulling family of businesses is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The firm was founded in 1986 and is a leader in HR consulting for small, medium and large companies.

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