When the CEO of a company steps down for whatever reason, that usually makes news. What you don’t hear much about is how this affects the company and the employees. When the CEO leaves, human resources needs to step up to help to keep things on an even keel.
When the CEO leaves, employees naturally will have a lot of questions. They will wonder what it means for the company, and most importantly, what it will mean for their jobs. This is where human resources needs to step in and fill the information gap before the uncertainty causes employees to become restless and saps morale, says career expert Rusty Rueff. With the state of the economy now, this becomes especially important.
If the uncertainty is allowed to linger, employees may start looking elsewhere, and this could also make it more difficult for the company to attract new employees, especially top performers.
Employees will want to know what the change is going to mean to them. Your management and/or human resources department need to get involved quickly, developing a plan on how to communicate the facts of the situation and to defuse gossip and rumor. HR needs to meet employee concerns up front, responding to their concerns honestly and directly.
HR/management needs to let employees know either that things will pretty much run the same, or let them know how the business might change.
Your company’s leaders also need to meet with managers to share information, since managers will be getting questions, too, Rueff says. The important thing is that everyone is on the same page, that everyone is giving and getting the same information.
Again, the role of human resources in a situation like this is to reassure employees. When something like this happens, they begin to wonder about their own careers and waiting for other shoes to drop. Human resources plays a crucial role in making sure things run smoothly during the transition, and part of this effort is letting employees know that their work is valued and that they are appreciated.
Moreover, these efforts by human resources will ensure that employees will continue to refer job candidates and that the company will be perceived as a good place to work.
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