The director for the department of the business I work in has resigned and left at short notice. As a manager, any risks with employees on my team leaving I feel I should flag, as a given, to the business owner, who is currently standing in for the director. However, I know that some of my peers are going to leave too, some of which I know would be unexpected to the owner, as they've weathered many difficult transitions before and are somewhat critical to the business.

I'm not sure if I should flag the risks of the other managers leaving to the owner, and if I should, how best to approach it. Without the director in place, I fear that the risks associated with the current situation or their departure may not be as visible as they should be and the knowledge and skills they possess will cause significant disruption to the business. I don't want to talk out of turn, but given that I'm not looking to leave, I would prefer to have some contingency planning in place to ensure any disruption from their departure is minimized...

Edit: Given some comments have not understood what I'm asking:

  • Should I tell the owner there is a risk of the other managers leaving and why, as well as highlight the risks that we will attract as a result? I've considered other "top" answers to similar questions and the consensus is generally "That's your managers problem, let them manage it" - My manager/director has left so the owner may be unaware of this risk and the impact it has on the business.

  • The other managers reasons for leaving are as a result of multiple iterations of restructuring the department and changing approaches to delivery, and feeling like we're not moving forward as a department. In attempts to improve department performance, there has been a restructure every 2 years, with previous methodologies and planning being thrown out each time.

  • 1
    Questions on this site need clear answers, and asking "what do you think?" is off topic. Right now, it's not clear what exactly you want to hear from us. Do you want pros/cons to telling the director about managers potentially leaving, for example? You can edit the question with these details so we can answer it.
    – Erik
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 8:46
  • 3
    And what's the reason for the managers/team members wanting to leave? I think that this is the real underlying issue here. All you're asking here is whether to tell the farmer that the barn door is open.
    – user44108
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 8:48
  • Appreciate the response, I've tried to take other answers to similar questions into account. If you read the content of what's in there, the context of "what do you think" should have been obvious. I've tried to clarify it for you. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 9:35
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    I'd be careful. Saying "Things X/Y/Z are problems for us managers, and I'm worried that if they continue, somebody might decide to go elsewhere" has lots of potential upside and relatively little downside if done properly. Saying "Managers X/Y/Z are unhappy and thinking of leaving" has far less upside and the potential to irrevocably damage relationships and your general reputation.
    – Kaz
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 10:54
  • 1
    should we use such loaded Language "flight" risk to describe people leaving Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 16:54

2 Answers 2


Of course you should flag this to your boss (or their boss if your boss is gone).

Here's my logic:

  1. Risks to the company are risks to your job, you should do what you can to reduce these risks
  2. Telling your grandboss about issues that they might not be aware of is not skipping the chain of command if you have no chain of command
  3. Helping your grandboss out at this stage will show that you actually care about the company, making it easier for complaints to be heard in future
  • 3
    100% correct. Leaving the owner unaware of this issue can have bad consequences, both for the company and for you. Don't take that risk simply out of fear of "talking out of line".
    – Seth
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 12:02

If your manager has left, the next higher person in the management chain is your manager until the company announces otherwise. If you would have told your manager, tell your manager.

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