How do employees resign?

There are many reasons pertaining to the question of why they resign, and at the top of the list of reasons is ‘they cannot get along with their supervisors’. According to many experts, most employees abandon their bosses, not their jobs.  Issues with salary, social rights, location of the company make up the next points on the list. But I would like to examine another question now. Not why, but how they resign.

The last link of selection and placement

You spend a significant amount of time, effort and money to best choose the people you will work with. The process is long and grueling. After all, you have a goal to attract talented employees, which is very up to trend. You publish job postings, run tests, your HR department is working nonstop to fill every position. The employee starts working at your company.

Meaning: a new investment period, too, starts.

Orientation exercises, personal and vocational development programs pile on one after another. It is your responsibility to increase their fruitfulness. As we always say, the ability to turn potential into performance is indispensable for executive teams.

Whether the working period is a month or five years, there is a relationship being constructed between employee and company. This relationship is of course not between the person and the building. Every single employee brings their own social aura into the company and socializes in that space. This is something we all support, because we are aware of the positive effects of social relationships between employees on the atmosphere of the company and the productivity of work.

In this setting, a piece of this social network, by their own will or yours, has to resign from work.

Why is the appropriate administration pertaining to the process of losing an employee, for one reason or another, not a priority to executive teams? Why can’t the last stage of the selection and placement be turned into a people-oriented process, as the first stages are?

One morning, I just couldn’t swipe in with my ID.

I am willing to argue that this is the ugliest, most outrageous way of laying an employee off. You leave your house, perhaps your spouse, your child, your parents, like any other day, and you go to work. That morning, your ID card doesn’t work. You assume it is a technical issue, you ask about it. The security officer, your friend that you say good morning to and converse with every morning, tells you that it has been deactivated. So someone has deactivated you, like a robot. You cannot enter that building anymore. Even if there was a shameful situation in question, this is not how this process should be handled.

But wait, there’s more. A junior friend of yours from HR comes in with some documents in their hand, gets some signatures from you. There’s no point to saying “I would’ve liked to empty my desk and cupboard.” Your belongings have already been boxed. And of course, you hand over your computer, cellphone if you have one, in the presence of the officer.

This is a direct retelling of a real experience. There was no shame in this situation, it was simply a layoff  for the sake of downsizing.

You might be saying that this is an extreme example, and you are right, yet I wanted to write about it so that we can examine who loses in this scenario.

Loser’s club

At the top of the losers list comes, of course, the reputation of the company. The person walking out the door right now is the ticking bomb for the company’s  reputation. Right now they are returning to the house they left only an hour ago. And have no doubt, your attitude won’t stay a secret. In deactivating them like a robot, you have just activated a ticking bomb that can destroy everything you have worked for to build your reputation.

Second on the list is the HR management. As a department, they have failed at the single crucial reason they exist. From now on, even if they hire the most talented people back to back for the next 10 open positions, they will not be able to repair the feelings of others in the company who take issue with the layoff of their friend. The idea of ‘this can happen to me too’ will awaken in every employee, and especially if the laid off person was very loved, this idea will bring with it other feelings as well.

The one that indirectly loses the most along with the loser’s club is the work itself. It can even be said that the work is the true victim, but we wanted to start from a more sophisticated perspective investigating this topic. Because our belief is that there are more important things than work at stake here.

Executive teams, department chiefs… Everyone has lost. Worst is, the company has lost a part of its soul.

This scenario has truly happened. Now take a look at your own scenarios. See what you can find to criticize and to applaud.

Isik Serifsoy

CEO Engage & Grow

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