When It’s Okay to Lose an Employee

It’s always stressful when an employee resigns. It’s especially stressful when the employee has been with you for a long time. But that doesn’t mean that you should necessarily be unhappy at their loss. Just because they’ve worked with you for some period of time doesn’t mean they belong. Sometimes you lose employees that you should have lost a long time ago, and you are better off for losing them.

Here are four reasons you should celebrate losing an employee.

When They Don’t Believe

When an employee no longer believes in what you are doing, when they don’t believe in the “why” of your mission, they are no longer valuable to you or you them.

You need employees that believe deeply in who you are, what you do, and why you do it. When an employee no longer believes, their heart is no longer in the business. You might still have their head, and you might still have their hands, but without their heart, you’ll never have their full, passionate engagement. You’ll never get their best work.

Your employees need something to believe in. They need a job that they find meaningful. You may want them to find the work meaningful, but when they don’t you need to let them go find what fulfills them. Let them find something they do believe.

When They Reject the Culture, or Vice Versa

Sometimes people reject your culture. They don’t want to be who you are, and they don’t want to adopt your values. If they don’t want to be who you are, it is good that they leave.

Your job as a leader is to create and protect a culture. Your culture comes from you values, from what makes you uniquely you. You can’t allow anyone to destroy it.

You know you have created a culture that protects itself when your people start working to eliminate the foreign object from their culture themselves. They often notice that an employee has rejected the culture before you do. When they won’t adopt you value and you culture, you should be happy they are gone. No good will come of their staying.

When They Aren’t Willing

It’s good to lose employees that aren’t willing to do what is necessary to succeed. They can have all of the ability in the world, but without the willingness to take action, you will never be happy with their results, and they will never really be happy working for you.

Everyone wants to do something meaningful and to make some contribution. People need to work somewhere where they are willing to do the work, where they can embrace the work.

When an employee isn’t willing, even though they may capable, you are better off without them.

When They Are Negative (and disruptive)

You might think this goes without saying, but it doesn’t. Too many companies are disappointed when they lose a negative, disruptive employee, especially when they produce good results. Because they produce results, too many accept the employee spreading their negativity and the resulting disruption to the workplace and the rest of the team. This is most true when the employee is smart, capable, and a producer.

Over time, these employees end up infecting others with their negativity, they create a new culture to replace your healthy culture, and they cause more trouble and work than they create it the way of results.

You may fret over losing them, but it’s always better when they are gone. Later, when you are reminded of this fact, and you will wonder why you didn’t help them find their way out of the organization sooner.

You will lose employees. It’s sometimes painful. But sometimes, it’s worth celebrating.


Is it always bad to lose an employee?

Is it always bad to lose an employee that produces good results?

What factors make an employee someone that you can be happy to have lost?

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