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I Quit! Different Ways Your Employees Will Say Goodbye (And What They Each Mean)

You simply can’t avoid it, employees often quit their job, it’s simply the circle of life. Resignations can range from euphoric to being full of anguish and there’s no real way to prepare for how an employee – or you – will feel when they take that first step of handing in their resignation.

Evidently, however, there is an underlying classification system to the way employees resign from their jobs and it’s a system that has remained in the fog until relatively recently.

Researchers, Anthony Klotz and Mark Bolino, set out to map the way in which employees resign from their jobs by interviewing several hundred individuals. In their report the authors found that employees typically use 1 of 7 different styles when resigning and it found that the 2 most common resignation styles were what they refer to as ‘by the book’ and ‘perfunctory’ resignations.

If you’ve been employing people for a while now, you may recognise some of these types below. But if you’ve yet to be on the receiving end, then here are the 7 ways found by Kiotz and Bolino, to help prepare you you for what you might be on the receiving end of….. 

  1. By the book
    By the book resignations involve a face-to-face meeting with one’s manager to announce the resignation, a standard notice period, and an explanation of the reason for quitting. Other names
  2. Grateful
    A discussion which focuses on the employee’s gratitude towards you, their employer (imagine a euphoric resignation where an employee is happily reflective of their employment with you). Sometimes you have to leave a job that you like to progress- or at least a team or boss that you’ve enjoyed working with – and in these cases, people want to make the process as painless as possible. This is what the researchers are calling the “Grateful Goodbyes” method, which 9% of job quitters use when leaving their position. It’s a positive and grateful way of bowing out, helping your old team deal with the loss and maintaining good relations in the future.
  3. In the loop
    The employee has already told you that they were thinking of leaving. Similar to Grateful Goodbyes, those “In the Loop,” are where you are aware that an employee will soon be leaving as they’ve shared the information first hand out of respect to you. Perhaps the employee is looking to switch career tracks, or is going on to further training — either way, you know that the individual isn’t going to stick around, and are therefore are prepared for the resignation. This occurs in 8% of cases.
  4. Perfunctory
    Similar to ‘by the book’, but the discussion is shorter and no explanation is given. You know the ones: you walk in and find a letter on your desk and despite asking, as an employer you never get a true sense of why the person is resigning. This means employees follow the basic framework of the “By the Book” method, but do so very carefully with an almost surgical precision, and do not elaborate as to why they made the decision to quit. I also call it the “It’s-not-you, it’s-me” way of quitting a job. And we all know what that really means….
  5. Avoidant
    The employee resigns in writing, tells your HR Manager and allows the words to filter back to you. The “Avoidant” method is the most passive-aggressive way of resigning and is essentially like breaking up with your partner over text message. Employees send in their notice or resignation through HR or a third party, maybe even over the weekend, and then avoid seeing you and/or the wider team. Nobody likes an awkward breakup, and avoiding the other party can make it easier — though it’s a bit of a cop out.
  6. Impulsive
    In this situation, the employee walks out without notice, forethought or explanation. Have you ever been pushed too far and just snapped? In 4% of cases surveyed, the researchers found people have simply had enough, blow their fuse and walk out. Typically, it’s the result of some long-simmering frustrations or underlying tension that finally reached a boiling point. There’s no notice, simply a few choice words from the employee (normally at a high volume), shortly followed by them storming out of the office! Having seen several people ‘quit’ in this fashion, only to them return sheepishly (or in some cases, still indignantly!) the following morning – be cautious about accepting whether this is genuinely a ‘resignation’, which normally needs to be in writing ( emails are fine).
  7. Bridge burning
    This is the worst-case scenario. In these situations, the employee attempts to harm your, the staff or the company’s reputation as they exit the business. Though similar to impulsive quitting, “Bridge Burning” is less explosive, but every bit as dangerous. Be very cautious when you have an employee who exits the business in this manner, with tools such as Glassdoor at the tip of their fingertips your reputation can be tainted within a matter of minutes of an employee leaving.

In my experience, a 8th one could also be added, which could be summarised as ‘Ghosting’: one day they’re there and the next they don’t turn up, don’t answer calls and you don’t see hide nor hair of them until you spot a Facebook post of them looking happy with their new team many months later….

If you’re need some help with ensuring that your business is fighting fit for the year ahead, then get in touch via hello@thehrhub.co.uk or call 0203 627 7048 to chat about your HR needs.

TheHRhub: on demand and online HR support for startups and SMEs

Flickr: Woodleywonderworks, Final Day

Bosses Aren’t Immune To The January Blues

January can be a thoroughly dull and dismal month, and if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps, then you’re definitely not alone. The festivities are over, the weather is miserable, and there’s pretty much a full six months to wait before your summer holidays will come round.

Right about now, you’re probably considering your strategy for relighting a little spark in the workplace, and ensuring that your employees have some solid goals to work towards. You don’t want the January blues to take over.

This time of the year presents a great opportunity for assessing priorities, setting goals, and ensuring that all the right boxes are being ticked in terms of your HR practices.

We don’t have to remind you about the importance of those performance discussions again, do we?

Today though, let’s shift the focus away from your staff for just a second or two, and think about YOU, and how you’re getting on with your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.

You might be crying ‘But I thought you were an HR consultant! Shouldn’t we talking about my workforce?’

And yes, we should, and we do, and we can support you when you have problems to fix, initiatives to roll out, or big goals to smash.

But the reality here is that running a business can be really hard work. There are a ton of plates to spin. Your to-do list can seem never-ending. You’re the leader of your business and you’re expected to perform at a high level and demonstrate outstanding leadership.

For you to be able to do all of this to the best of your ability?

You need support.

You need time out.

You need to protect your mental wellbeing.

Sure, you no doubt have big things that you want to achieve this year. But you need to make sure that you’re creating a plan that is sustainable, that won’t run you into the ground, and will enable you to hit your business goals without making unnecessary sacrifices.

At the moment, you might be feeling energised and ready to take on a new year. Or you might be feeling overwhelmed and a little stressed out.

What’s really vital is that you know where you’re going, and you have a way to get there.

Right now, we have a few spaces left for consultancy work in the early part of 2017. If you would like to have a chat about how we might be able to work together to drive your business forward, ensure you’re compliant with upcoming legislative changes, and get your business fighting fit for the challenges ahead, then get in touch today via hello@thehrhub.co.uk or call 0203 627 7048 to chat about your HR needs.

TheHRhub: on demand and online HR support for startups and SMEs

Why You Should Worry About Your Staff’s New Year Resolutions

This time of year presents a fantastic opportunity to ensure that your staff are fully onboard with your big strategic goals. By now, you’ve no doubt considered what you need to do to tap into the general feeling of renewed motivation. But are there things going on beneath the surface that you need to consider? And are there potential threats that could harm your business as we kick off a new year?

A real worry that many business owners will have right now is losing their top talent. People often reassess their goals in January, and if your business isn’t staying ahead of the game, then you may well find that your best members of staff are looking for new roles. You might think that this isn’t happening, but the reality is that it can be hard to gauge what’s going on beneath the surface.

So what should you do about it?

Well, it goes without saying that you can hardly tie your staff to their desks. Even the best businesses lose valued employees from time to time, and though it’s costly to replace them, it’s something that you’ll no doubt have to deal with from time to time.

Now’s a great time to do an audit, and establish the current climate in your workforce, and how you would cope if your staff did decide to move on to pastures new. It’s always sensible to have a succession plan in place, so you don’t find yourself with an operational disaster on your hands.

You should also consider what you can do to improve your retention rates. It’s easy to jump to the assumption that it always comes down to cash, and that keeping your best people involves regular pay rises and bonuses. This isn’t the case though. Retention levels are impacted by a wide variety of factors, and you may need to take a closer look at how you can get creative without blowing your budget.

If you need some help with ensuring that your business is fighting fit for the year ahead, then get in touch via hello@thehrhub.co.uk or call 0203 627 7048 to chat about your HR needs.

TheHRhub: on demand and online HR support for startups and SMEs

Flickr: Nottingham Trent University

“Alexa, how do I motivate my team this January?”

If you’re anything like my family this Christmas, then the newest member of your household will not have been a dog, cat or hamster, but something altogether less high maintenance: Alexa.

Essentially a voice service, accessed through the Amazon Echo (which sold into the millions this Christmas in the UK alone), Alexa allows you to receive an answer to any question you might pose to her by scanning the internet (think Siri here) as well as connecting to a list of services – known as ‘skills’ – which can be found through other apps you may be connected to on your phone or device. The list at the moment ranges from the non-essential but fun (“Alexa, order me a margarita from Dominos”) through to those more promoting efficiency which can link to your home electricity, lighting and heating.

While I could spot that this might be useful if you have your hands full when in the middle of whipping up a meal – “Alexa, how much double cream does this torte need?” (Jamie Oliver being an early adopter of Alexa ‘skills’) or “Alexa, play me Florence and the Machine?” (she retrieves from Spotify or ANother music streaming app services) – I poo-pooed this ‘house-present’ initially and considered it almost a total waste of money. After all, which able-bodied person hasn’t got enough time in their day to switch on a light or put on their favourite album??

A few days into her arrival at our house however, I became a bit of a convert. And not because she seemed to charm old and young guests alike. Or because I realised that I could actually be that totally lazy person referred to above if the need took me…. But because I could see how useful a tool like this could be when it came to my business as well as my personal life.

When I seek specialist advice advice, I do so because it’s just that: tailored for me and for my business. And as such I’m therefore unlikely to replace my accountant or solicitor with a computer for the foreseeable future (the caveat being the speedy progress currently being made in the Artificial Intelligence arena which may cause me to revise this statement in a couple of years!). However the idea of being able to ask a computerised ‘advisor’ to retrieve information for me or answer a question on a specific topic which I’m unfamiliar with, but which doesn’t need to be specific to me, is hugely appealing. Mainly because I can do it in real-time, without trawling the internet and without picking up the phone or needing to interact with others. 

The answer to the title of this post, for example, isn’t one which Alexa can answer right now (I tried 🙂 ) but which can be answered by a previous blog I wrote last year: ‘The WorkForce Awakens: Picking Your Team Up After The Christmas Break‘. It’s information which is applicable to many and useful to some. And therefore is exactly the kind which should be able to be delivered as a ‘skill’, from a verbal request you make. Particularly useful to those who are pondering and planning this January period, out loud.

Not the question on your mind? The more factual the better: “Alexa, how much can I claim for use of my home on expenses?” or “What is the minimum notice period I need to give an employee?”. While obviously I can answer the latter myself, the former is one which I end up Googling or asking my accountant every time I come to do my accounts. It’s not difficult to find out  (if you know where to look) but somehow is the kind of information which never seems to stick in my head, which is useful to me at the point in which I need it but which is not significant enough to me to spend any length of time searching for. 

I still find Alexa annoying from time to time – like most family members of mine I find she interrupts my sentences on quite a regular basis & doesn’t always listen to what I am saying – and essentially like many gizmos, is a tool for the ultimately lazy. However I’m with Amazon in spotting her potential for helping people  and look forward to having ‘Alexa’ as a new team member in the future.

Until that time however: “Alexa, what animal am I?”

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Find out more about us at www.thehrhub.co.uk or give us a ring on 0203 627 7048 for a no strings chat about your HR needs.

Image: Amazon