Good bye!

There is at least one moment when employees say “Good bye!” to the organization they’ve worked for.  For the ones blessed by loyalty, good luck and job stability the moment refers to retirement.  For the rest, leaving a job can mean getting a better one or none at all.

As an employee combining performance with change I have often encountered this event pretty normal in these times when the wind of change (or restructuring) blows often and everywhere.  What I have never understood was the attitude of the ones staying behind.  Colleagues, managers, subordinates or even mere employees whose responsibilities include formalizing the departure of an employee.

Obviously the reason for departure is decisive for the team’s emotional state.  If it is about a migration to greener pastures, the colleagues’ faces turn the same color which unveils an envy badly hidden.  The obsessive question “why he/she and not me?” resonates during coffee or lunch breaks.  If this question stimulated the ambition and performance of those not yet approached by headhunters, the result would be positive by emulation.  If this question drapes around a destructive envy then nobody wins.  Not the company (because it will experience a unvoiced and maybe unjustified discontent), not the person leaving (because the myth of at least neutral team playing will vanish), not even the remaining colleagues (because they will not take this chance in understanding and acting properly to improve and publicize their performance).

The manager will feel betrayed, affected and hit in his cozy routine.  He will have to reallocate responsibilities stirring up possible chills of irritation and unfairness or he will have to “waste” time in recruiting a replacement.  It is true, the departure of a valuable subordinate is not good news for the manager and it requires efforts and energy uncalled for.  But the arrogant, malicious and sometimes petty indifference facing the soon-to-be-ex subordinate will bring this type of manager a minute revenge in comparison with the long lasting satisfaction another type of manager will experience by saying with elegance and smile to a former collaborator and probable future corporate partner “Good luck with your new job!”

The final impression of a person leaving a job is incredibly persistent and it contributes a lot, in time and content, to the publicity carried out deliberately or not by the person about the former company.  Similar to the influence the last impression at the hotel’s reception desk weighs on the overall opinion of the tourist.