leaders: what would you do?

I’m torn on this one and wondering. When a person wants to leave a company, do you fight to keep them or let them go?

Obviously the low performers have already overstayed their welcome, so they’re free to go. But what about the high performers? How do you react when a great employee says that they are moving on? Do you counter offer, beg or guilt them into staying, feel betrayed and get mad?

I hate to let a great person leave too easily. Often, when a person receives an offer from another company (especially if they weren’t job hunting) it can be a huge ego stroke. “Wow, this other company really appreciates and wants me!” They may not even want to leave their job, but it feels so good to feel wanted that they are willing to part ways. So, I want them to understand that they are valued here. And, if I’m doing my job as a manager, they already know how much I count on and appreciate them.

On the other hand, I don’t want to get caught up in a bidding war. In some cases, with non-compete clauses, etc. I could force them to stay, but if they want to leave that bad, I’m pretty sure I don’t want them around.

I’ve seen many examples of managers bemoaning losing a great employee only to replace that person with someone even better. Every time a person leaves it’s an opportunity to reshape the team and make it stronger.

I see both sides, think I prefer to let them move on, but I could be completely wrong.

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