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Anyone who has seen ‘Office Space’ remembers the scene where Aniston goes off on her boss at Chotchkie’s.   Flair!  It’s an empowering moment.  The kind of moment many of us wish we had the guts to create for ourselves.  There is nothing as empowering as taking the upper hand on a person or group that has been sitting on top of you for months or years. Honestly- this is not the best way to handle a decision to change jobs.

What causes a person to want to change jobs?  Could be many things..  Most of the time a person leaves his or her boss not the company or team. Ever see emails from people to their team when they leave their jobs?  Typically they say things like-  “I loved working with you guys” or “please contact me if you need anything” or “I value the relationships I have built here”.  Seems as if many people like their team, just not their boss.  People do not tell a company or group of folks these type of positive well wishes if they do not mean them.  Maybe they do-  maybe just to be polite..  but I find that shallow.  I find that most people are not shallow and most people want to do the right thing.   Which is what this whole post is about.

FLAIR!

FLAIR!

When it’s time to go-  what happens??  I believe that the onus has been put on employees to provide a heads up to their company.  BUT..  What onus does a company or leader have in regard to an employee who is on his way out?  This is very interesting to me.  I have been so passionate about hiring the right people and developing the talent within my teams, I have not taken the time to understand the obligation of a leader to his team when an employee finds he is ready to move on.

Companies and managers must take the time to understand why the employee is leaving the organization.  It is always the hope of any firm that their employees are not leaving due to internal issues within the company.  Many people I know feel it is OK for someone to leave because of personal reasons like family matters or illness- but a chance to take a promotion or move to a better comp package with a competitor is not OK.  Why the dichotomy?

The feeling that a company is owed something in regard to how their employees quit is wrong.  As a manager or leader, if you have  let your team get into a position where they need to look outside your organization to find opportunity, happiness or fair compensation, then you have failed.  The reason  managers do not feel a team member can happily move to another firm is out of shear frustration with their own inadequacies to keep their team intact.

I hear some of you- BUT!  “There is more to a company than just the employees!!!” I understand a company has an obligation to many stake holders including employees, clients and shareholders.  These different groups should not over ride a core piece of humanity, which is to take care of one another.  Managers must remember that changing jobs is incredibly difficult on people and the decision to move on was is generally not made lightly.

I believe that managers and companies should remember a few simple rules when a person decides it is time to move on.

  • Managers and leaders must take care of their people to the END
  • 2 weeks notice is a two way street
  • You never know when you may want someone back
  • It’s a small world and people talk, post and blog
  • Other employees see what you do

Leaders should remember that the road to division has more than one driver and that fairness and equality are critical to building lifelong relationships with employees.  Employers should be quick to recognize that a small bit of generosity during a disruptive time in a person’s life will go a VERY long way.  People will remember how they were treated and will convey that sentiment to people still working at the company, potential hires, the competitions and possible clients.

A recent Houston Chronicle Article discusses 2 weeks notice.  “Most companies view it as an act of thoughtfulness and consideration by the employee, and they want to encourage that kind of behavior by keeping the worker on the payroll.

If they don’t, he said, it doesn’t take long for word to get around that the company will put its departing employees in a bind.”

With the power of social media, companies should remember that one person can reach thousands.  It is always better to do right by your people even when they are walking out the door-  you never know when you will walk in on them again or who they may be taking with them.

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