by Matt Alderton | June 17, 2019
Career coaches like to tell their clients: Never burn a bridge. As it turns out, what's good advice for employees can also be great advice for their managers. After all, people who work for you today can be a valuable resource tomorrow -- even if they no longer work for your organization. Down the line, for example, they can become important customers, vendors and partners. They also can refer new employees, and maybe even hire or refer you when you're looking for your next opportunity.

But employees who leave will only be an instrument for you and your company if they depart on good terms. For that reason, when someone on your team gives notice, you should "handle it with grace and support so they leave with a great lasting impression of you and the organization," author Ximena Vengoechea advises in an article for Fast Company.

According to Vengoechea, the best bosses react to resignations by being encouraging, not spiteful. "Congratulate them on their new gig and new opportunity," she says. "Even if you wish they were staying, honor that they've accomplished something great in their career, with you by their side. Now it's time to let the bird fly."

Along with being supportive, be grateful. "Remember all the things they've contributed to your company," Vengoechea continues. "Highlight the qualities you admire in them. Thank them for their time on your team, and if it's true, let them know you've enjoyed working with them."

Finally, be open to lessons learned. "Definitely poke into what's causing their departure," Vengoechea concludes. "If their needs could have been met on your team, take this as a learning opportunity. Think about how you can better support your existing team and how you'll set the next person in this role up for success."

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