Experts share how you should react if many of your colleagues start leaving en masse
The revolving door strikes again.
This week, Jedidiah Bila, a conservative co-host of ABC’s The View, departed from the daytime talk show. “This is my last day at The View,” Bila told the audience this week, to which she was greeted by a chorus of “Awww,” and lots of emotion from her fans.
“This has been an amazing journey, and I appreciate all of you,” Bila told her co-hosts — Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines, Joy Behar, and Sunny Hostin. “I have a book that I’m writing with HarperCollins right now… so I’m working insanely on that, and I have a lot of opportunities to consider now and figure out.”
Bila is the latest in a long line of hosts to exit the program, which launched in 1997. In October 2016, former Disney Channel star Raven-Symoné signed off after less than two seasons; in 2014, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy bowed out of the program. Comedian Rosie O’Donnell famously left amidst much tumult in 2007, only to return for a brief five month resurgence on the program in 2015. And legendary journalist Barbara Walters, who created the program, said her farewell to a daily role on the panel in May of 2014, albeit parting on her own terms.
The View’s history of instability is something many of us have faced at work. So what should you do if the you notice a lot of other employees suddenly jumping ship at your company?
1. Figure out what’s going on with the company or department: Don’t just assume the company is going under or something terrible is happening. “A lot of times, turnover is normal… but you have to get information because you may be panicking over nothing,” says Susan Ginsberg O’Sullivan, a career coach in New York City. The first step is to verify whether there’s a real reason to be concerned about the quitting trend, or not.
To do that, ask around, O’Sullivan recommends: “Ask your supervisor, ask colleagues who are leaving. And, [tell your boss], ‘I’ve noticed that there seems to be a lot of people leaving the company right now. Is there anything I should know?”
Author and executive coach Dr. Marc Dorio says that another way to find out if a company is suffering is to study its performance in the markets, if it is publicly traded. If the partners are liquidating their shares in the company, that could be a red flag that trouble is on its way.
2. Use this to advance your career: If an employee defects from a position you want, strike while the iron is hot, Dorio says. “Say to your boss: I noticed that [someone] is leaving, and I can do her job. Give me a shot at it,” he suggests. Even if something happens to the company, you will have this new title and job on your resume.
3. Start looking for other jobs: O’Sullivan says it’s important to be aware of what other positions are out there, so you don’t get stuck. “I think you always should be looking — it’s not about being disloyal to organizations, but you always have to see yourself as self-employed,” Dorio says. The best way to hedge the risk of being laid off amidst large-scale staffing turnover is to have opportunities elsewhere, so, “I don’t think you ever should be satisfied where you are,” he concludes.
4. Be vocal with feedback: If a bad manager is to blame for the sudden losses in staffing, it’s worth exploring how to overcome differences with your boss without feeling driven out of your job. “If you have a mentor in your organization, you can talk to him or her to help you work through [the problem],” O’Sullivan proposes, or you can have a dialogue with your manager about “getting a better understanding of how they like to work.” You can also approach HR to solve the problem, but, she cautions, you should avoid going above your manager’s head — that could be a recipe for trouble.
If you’ve noticed that people are leaving, understand why. And if it’s about your manager, speak up as you’re on the way out, Dorio says. “In exit interviews, be open to that feedback,” he advises managers about taking criticism. “Don’t shut it off; [instead, ask] what can I learn from this? The old story is good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
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