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Real Life Leadership: How you let an employee leave your business can teach you a lot

This week's Real Life Leadership column - How you let an employee leave your business can teach you a lot - is online.

Why do people leave their jobs?  I'm convinced that it is never a rational decision.  Here's one scenario that happened to someone I know.

The head of the company called him in and expressed concern about his being too visible as a manager. What did this mean?  Did it mean that the boss was intimidated by him?  Quite possibly.  Was this a criticism of his work? Not really.  It seemed to be a criticism designed to put him in his place. 

What did he do?  He decided that he could not trust his boss any longer, and began to look for a new position in another company.  A year later he moved.

This issue of people leaving raises an important point about talent management in an organization.  What does it mean when your best people continue to leave?  Is this a reflection of poor management?  Or, is it a reflection on the employee who is using the opportunity to succeeding at a middle tier organization to advance to a higher one?

Many organizations conduct exit interviews when a staff person leaves.  In some cases, what is learned is too late to make a difference with that employee.  On the other hand, the more you know the better you can address the employment issues that always linger in the background.

So, it seems to me that when someone decides to leave it is best that they do so as soon as possible.  A cloud of doubt and suspicion hangs over the office when someone announces they are leaving, and it isn't clear why they are. Thank them for their service. Wish them well. And get back to work.

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