• Tara Humphrey

6 things to do when a core member of your project team leaves

We've all been here. Even though you suspect things aren’t right, you resist addressing the situation and hope your team member, who clearly wants to leave, hangs in there for a little while longer.

However, on Monday you receive the email. They’re are leaving. They give you their four weeks’ notice, but they are owed two weeks' holiday and they are currently central to a major project.

While there is no exact way to manage this as every situation is different, I believe the following six measures will help make the transition a little more manageable:

  1. Talk to the them and ask them why they are leaving. We need to learn from this experience in preparation for the next recruit.

  2. Make time for a thorough hand over which involves a written document and an in-person meeting. Rush this, and you will be left with many unanswered questions and miscommunication with your stakeholders.

  3. Look to distribute tasks across your current team or appoint an interim project manager, or consultant if you're missing technical or specialised knowledge, while you hire a long-term replacement.

  4. Communicate the upcoming departure to key stakeholders as soon as possible with a plan of action and new named point of contact. You don’t want to leave anyone with no-one to turn to.

  5. Don’t forget about the rest of your project team. Losing a team member understandably creates uncertainty and distraction so, where possible, try to provide clarity to keep your project moving in the right direction. Also, keep in close communication with your team and don’t forget to show your appreciation, especially if they are going to be taking on more responsibilities.

  6. Hand over and don’t dump. When redistributing responsibilities to a new or existing team member, don’t forget that they will need some training and time to get to grips with things.

About the author:

Tara Humphrey is the founder of THC Primary Care, a leading healthcare consultancy specialising in workforce transformation and the only consultancy to have worked with 11 Training Hubs across South London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Tara and her team also work with GP federations supporting the implementation of clinical services.

Tara has over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sector and has an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care and is the author of over 100 blogs.

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Shortlisted for the Workforce Innovator Award for The Business of Healthcare Scholarship 2021

Runner-Up Business Woman of  the Year 2018

Published in The London Journal of Primary Care 2018

Finalist Creative/Digital Category

for The Business of Healthcare Podcast 2020

Runner-Up Business Woman of  the Year 2017

Winner Best Newcomer


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