When a Team Member Considers Leaving

Three Questions to Help Understand the Situation and Guide Your Response

Occasionally within your team, dynamics change with a team member to the point where they reconsider whether to remain in your group or not. This is not necessarily a bad thing—relationships and goals evolve, and this may be in everyone’s best interest.

However, if a team member is worth saving, it is best to know what to do to make that happen.

The first thing, and most important thing, that a team leader needs to do is understand the situation. In order to do that, you must seek answers to the following three questions:


1. Why might they be leaving? Is a potential change being driven by commission splits, lead opportunities, personality conflicts or something else? Getting to the root of why your agent is considering a change is job No. 1. You cannot respond appropriately to the situation without knowing this, so unless your relationship has deteriorated to the point of no return—in which case, this entire exercise is moot—schedule a face-to-face meeting and ask the agent point blank to review any thoughts or concerns that they have about their role within your team.

2. Are they still a fit? Did you notice how this is not the first question? Too often, team leaders learn of someone considering leaving and immediately write them off as disloyal or problematic. Instead, wait and learn what their issues are first (see Question No. 1), and only then re-evaluate from your own perspective whether they are still may be a fit for your team.

3. Can they be saved? Once you understand their position and have decided that they are worth saving, determine quickly if that is a possibility. If a license transfer is already in motion, the chances are low. If nothing binding has been signed, however, waste no time in addressing your agent’s concerns and proposing new agreements to maintain their affiliation with your team. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and it is usually better to save an agent that you already have than start over trying to replace them.

In your efforts to retain an agent, be sure to directly address their concerns, but also remind them of the value that your team brings to their business, whether that comes in the form of leads, marketing, administrative support or other benefits. Also, commit to doing some immediate business planning with them to ensure that they are taking full advantage of your relationship and their own opportunities. Sometimes some attention and refocused efforts are really what that team member needs instead of making a major change.

Obviously, the best time to start discussions like these is before a team member ever considers a change. Periodic one-on-one discussions go a long way to maintaining mutual understanding and, as a result, achieving better retention and loyalty.

When a change is on the table, however, address it quickly and ask the above questions to determine your response. By successfully retaining team members that may otherwise have left, you and your team member will likely proceed both with a better understanding and a mutually agreeable arrangement that will keep your team strong moving forward.

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