As a manager, you know how much effort it takes to source talent, train employees, and build a solid team. So when someone internal tries to entice one of your employees to join another team, it can make for quite the bothersome situation. Here's what to do if another manager at your company is attempting to snag one of your valued workers.
1. Talk to your employee first
The fact that another manager is trying to poach a top employee of yours may not be all that big a deal if that employee isn't interested in switching teams. Before you get too bent out of shape about the situation, find out where the employee in question stands. It may be that he or she is perfectly content at present and doesn't want to mix things up.
2. Affirm your desire to retain that employee
If the employee another manager is after is indeed enthusiastic about making a change, then it's your job to find out why. Will there be more opportunity for growth on another team? Does the work at hand seem more interesting? Asking these questions will help you understand your employee's motivation for leaving so that you can address his or her current pain points.
In fact, it pays to flat out ask your employee what you need to do to get him or her to stay. Is it more money? A better title? Some demands may be out of your control, but if, for example, that employee is interesting in moving teams because that manager offers more schedule flexibility than you do, that's something you can work on. The same holds true if that employee is seeking more responsibility; you can carve out additional tasks to fuel that worker's career growth to avoid having him or her jump ship.
3. Talk to the manager who's doing the poaching
It's one thing to lose a great employee to an outside company. But when the competition stems from within, you have every right to address the issue professionally. To this end, sit down with the manager who's looking to lure your valued employee and explain how losing him or her could wreak havoc on your team and cause lots of undue stress.
If that manager insists on moving forward with his or her internal recruiting, ask to work together to solve both teams' needs. For example, you might agree to let your employee go graciously, but only once you've gotten a chance to find and train a replacement. That's certainly a reasonable compromise.
Losing a smart, hard-working employee is never easy. That holds true whether that person resigns and moves to another company, or switches teams and therefore no longer works for you. But if it's another manager at your company who's attempting to take that employee away from you, don't let him or her go without a fight. Instead, ask questions, have tough conversations, and do whatever you can to hang onto an employee your team has come to rely on.