One of the things I am most proud of as a business owner is that over the last 30+ years we have several employees that have been with us many years. In fact our lead pressman has been with us for nearly 30 years now, and our production manager is only 1 year behind that. Several other employees have joined over time and are well over 10 and 15 years. So about two weeks ago when our prepress manager Dave came into my office and shared with me his intention to leave for another job, it was somewhat of a jolt to me.
I realize that change is a constant, however for the most part there has not been a lot of movement within employment circles over the last few years. Most people have not been looking to relocate, rather they have been content to stay where they know they are secure. There does seem to be an uptick in the economic climate now though, and so perhaps we will find some increased competition for qualified professionals becoming more common.
In the case of Dave, he was given a good opportunity at a larger company – in fact as I had talked with him in our exit interview, he relayed that this company had talked with him a couple of years ago as well. Over the course of the last two weeks Dave and I talked a few times and all in all it was a good process – for both of us. It was not an easy decision for him, and likewise I had to scramble to find not just a qualified replacement, but someone who I felt would be a great fit with our company.
Change like this is never easy – we will undoubtedly have a transition period where we get to acquaint our new hire – Chris – into how we do things at C L Graphics, and for our other prepress people (and myself) to learn how Chris manages workflow. At the same time, I look at this as a potential real positive. We can all get “stuck” in a routine that says this is how we do things, just because this is how we have always done things! Now, we have an opportunity to learn from someone new – to gain from Chris’s experience and perspective. This can be actually a refreshing addition and one that can energize us!
As for losing a valued employee – and Dave was such an employee – I look it this now as potentially a good career move for him as well. Sometimes we need to be on the lookout for other opportunities, and I wish him well. We treated Dave with respect during the last couple of weeks, and likewise he helped us a great deal in helping to welcome Chris – share some insight and training for a couple of days to make sure he got off to a good start.
I will miss Dave. He was good at what he did and was very loyal to all of us at CL Graphics. And yet with this change, I also feel confident that Chris will step right in and help us grow even further as a company. Change is a constant, and maybe that is not all bad!