Turnover-the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I have been blessed to serve on the staff of a great Christian organization for over eighteen years. I can’t believe it. I have worked with a lot of outstanding leaders through the years. Many of those are no longer on our staff. On one hand I really miss them. On the other hand I understand that we cannot ever stay as we are to get to where we need to be. Some have retired, some moved on to other opportunities, some were the victims of downsizing, and a few made mistakes that resulted in termination. No matter the reason, it hurts when someone moves on if you have grown close to them. That often happens when you work for several years with someone week in and week out. Here are some realities that I remind myself of when people leave our organization:

  1. Larger numbers naturally equate with larger losses. I serve in an organization with nearly 200 staff members meaning that no year will go by without staff members departing. If there were only three of us, perhaps we could stay together for decades. However, three of us could not provide the ministry needed to accomplish our tasks.
  2. Life flows through various seasons. I was reminded of this when Richard Blackaby spoke at a retreat we held several years ago. Winter is coming and spring will certainly follow. So it is with staff members. Changes will take place as sure as the seasons will change.
  3. While we grieve over losses of friends, turnover refreshes the organization with new ideas, new possibilities, and new relationships. That is healthy. Otherwise, stagnation would set in. Stagnation means to stop developing, growing, progressing, or advancing; to become sluggish or dull; to be or become stale or foul from standing, as a pool of water. Who wants that?

While I do not desire the departure of friends on our staff I understand that the loss is an opportunity; for our organization and for the person departing as well. Enjoy what we have had. Enjoy what we have. Enjoy also that God truly does have the future in His hands.

Adapted from Chapter Forty-six of John G. Millers’ Outstanding; 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional