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March 18, 2014

“Everybody is Replaceable, but Everyone is Not”

Filed under: General HR Buzz,Management Practices6:00 am

Any employer would agree that great employees are hard to find.  They would also agree that when you have a great employee you want to do everything you can to keep them.  So why is it that when a great employee is planning on leaving or has left, we insist on resorting to the same old response?  “They were a great employee but, you know, everyone is replaceable.”

The truth is, Everybody is replaceable, but Everyone is not.  When a great employee leaves, their body can be replaced but their knowledge, approach, and spirit cannot.  The type of void they leave in the organization is permanent; it can never be wholly replaced.  It may feel like the void gets filled, but it is a facade of others having to pitch in to fill the void.  It is an acceptance of lower performance to fill the void, and missed opportunities that never get measured, because if they did, we would see the real cost of losing that great employee.

So, when we are faced with the possibility of losing a great employee lets change the response from “Everyone is replaceable” to “Everybody is replaceable, but Everyone is not.”  Maybe this subtle change in thinking will get organizations to think twice before they allow great employees to leave.

See attached article for further inspirations on this topic:


1 Comment

  1. When you get rid of a bad employee it can really lift a weight from the office. People that just are a strain on the rest of the team definitely need to be replaced! On the flip side, when a great employee leaves you can lose a lot of that passion and energy and drive that propelled the team forward. A good manager needs to really know who exactly makes the wheels turn within their company and who is just along for the ride.

    Comment by Dan Enthoven — March 26, 2014 @ 9:54 am

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