Treat Employees well on the way out…

An International Journal of Human Resource Management specialists found that 33 percent of people engage with negative job-related gossip and were found to have cynical behavior against their organization and colleagues. Treat employees well, especially on the way out! It may sound obvious that leaders should treat out-going employees with respect, but many do not.  And if they don’t the likelihood that they will be the subject of negative gossip is high. Poor employee treatment spreads like wildfire. Some leaders find it easy to treat current employees well but turn cold on employees who leave.  This speaks volumes about you and your company and affects your ability to attract and retain top talent in the future. Just this week, a young up-and-comer with her MBA accepted a professional position at one of our clients.  She asked for advice on when to give notice to her current employer.  She has a vacation planned for one week. She is afraid that if she gives her two-week notice before her vacation, her employer will walk her out immediately and not pay her for the time she has accrued. She said, “They can be spiteful.” She is concerned these people will screw her out of her vacation. So, she is considering waiting a week to give her notice, taking her vacation, coming back, and only giving a one-week notice. When I talked to her about the potential for a counter-offer she said, “There is nothing, not even more money, that will keep me there.” You have to pause and think, what kind of employer is she working for and why does it have to be so messy on the way out? It has everything to do with the reason this up-and-comer is quitting in the first place.  The company clearly has a toxic culture, and the way they treat employees on the way out is just one facet of a larger problem.  This young woman told me she is looking for her “forever home.”  Isn’t that what all leaders desire, sharp people who want to stay with us?  Do you think she will be saying good things about this company? Leaders must realize, how you treat your employees on the way out affects your corporate brand and reputation and therefore your ability to attract and retain employees you want to keep.   When an employee resigns, other employees are watching carefully. How is the boss reacting? How is my co-worker being treated? If you support an outgoing person’s decision, treat them professionally, show them care, and give a warm send-off…you are on the right track. If you get mad and treat them coldly or ignore them on the way out, look deeper at your corporate culture and make the changes you need. Over 50 percent of employees shuffle over to co-workers’ cubicles and start sentences with “Did you hear?” or “Can you believe so-and-so? – Better Buys survey


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