Dealing with Losses

We deal with losses in the workplace all the time. We lose new opportunities and established business. We lose employees. We lose momentum. We lose market share.

When leaders deal with these losses, they often view them tactically. They evaluate the immediate impact, come to conclusions, and move on. They don’t necessarily think deeply about how the immediate impact affects the long term.

Let’s look at what happens when a client declines to work with you. They may claim, for example, that the reason is related to price, especially in this inflationary environment. The internal reaction may cause you to sharpen your pencil the next time there is an opportunity with that client.

That reason is masking something deeper. Long-term clients or customers don’t stop working with you simply because of price. This is an excuse, not a reason. If you don’t evaluate further, this seemingly isolated incident could become a true loss.

The deeper dive would be to examine the value that you provided this client in recent interactions. If the service level has not kept pace with what the client expects at your price point, you and your team need to rethink delivery.

The resignation of a strong employee is similar. Why is the person really leaving? Exit interviews provide clues, but don’t necessarily expose the whole picture. What is missing in the employee experience that triggers a desire to go elsewhere?

Yet employers also move on and don’t understand the real underlying reason for the departure. Was it their manager? Corporate culture? A feeling of stagnation? These reasons can change the scope of a simple resignation into seeds of a bigger loss.

If your company is experiencing losses, take the time to go beyond the superficial to understand the underlying reason. Discuss it with your managers, and of course, take the discussion seriously and any conclusions that emerge.

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