What to Do When Your Andrew Luck Leaves

Andrew Luck is making a change. The top 2012 NFL draft pick and superstar quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts announced his retirement at 29 years old, sending a shock throughout the sports world.

As the unemployment rate decreases and job opportunities continue to rise, abrupt job changes aren’t only occurring in football. While Luck had his reasons – mainly, his slew of injuries and wanting to be around for his family, his move mirrors what is happening in the jobs market. As talented employees walk out the door, how do you handle losing a Luck? Here’s what to do when your A player leaves:

Don’t hold a grudge

“Andrew did the right thing,” said Colts Head Coach, Frank Reich. “He did the right thing for himself, and he did the right thing for the team, knowing the requirement and the commitment that’s needed of the journey ahead.” When star performers decide to leave your organization, embrace Reich’s attitude of respect and understanding.

When one of your top performers leave, it can be tempting to hold a grudge, but instead, wish them well. Offer to be a reference for them and let them know the impact they made on your organization. In addition, it’s essential to keep a positive relationship with this person. Consider reaching out to them after they leave to ask how they’re doing in their new role. When an employee exits an organization, keeping lines of communication open is key.

After a few years working elsewhere, the employee may decide to return. There are many stories of athletes coming out of retirement or even going back to work with their team in a different capacity. This concept of the “boomerang employee” (when companies rehire former workers) happens more often than most think.

Focus on the B-Players

Keeping your bench warm while your A player is still on the team is key to avoid any dip in production should they choose to leave. Spend time with your B-players who have strong potential to become the next Andrew Luck. Develop their talents by offering extra training or helping them tackle a new project. Take inventory of who is on your bench, the strengths and weaknesses of each player, and strategize how you’ll hit your goals without the star. B players often have the work ethic and desire to rise to the top through growth and development. You may have lost your Luck, but you never know who your next Aaron Rodgers may be.

Looking for more? Our Vice President went on Fox 32 News to talk about what you can learn from Andrew Luck’s decision. Watch it below.

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