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Posts Tagged ‘Resignations are not bad

When You Let Your Performers Go…

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all-the-best-scrapsAs leader of large team, which consists of bright and smart managers, I manage a lot of tough situations. One of the most crucial such situation arises when one of my high-performer team members expresses his or her intentions to move on and pursue other interests; in short, wants to leave the job.

This is indeed a tough moment for any people manager, especially if the team is built painstakingly over years and when it consists of stars who have consistently done well for the team and the organization.

However, I do not baulk at such moments. Neither do I feel bad or act vindictive. In fact, I always feel amused when I hear about how bosses or companies change dramatically as soon as someone declares his intent to quit the job. Right from acting in a rather discourteous manner – ‘How can you?!!’, (As if the employee cheated them by choosing to resign!), to meriting a differential treatment (Why do we need to call him for this meeting, isn’t he leaving?), to alienating the employee altogether, even when he’s serving the notice period. In my book, it all sucks, big time.

Don’t get me wrong; I also do not want my best lieutenants to leave. However, I also feel good when they leave in pursuit of something ambitious; something they find more engaging and rewarding. Over the period of years, I have, should I say, tried to build a culture of sincerity and frankness amongst my teammates about their career aspirations; not only within the team’s boundaries/domain, but also with other functions within the organizations and at times, even with other companies. All my teammates are encouraged to share openly any meetings they have had with other companies and/or offers they get; and since I haven’t witnessed almost anyone of them trying to use this allowance of forthrightness as a tool of negotiation for a promotion/career-advancement with me, I see this honesty paying off.

Every time when a teammate has shared such a development with me, the first thing I’d say “Great! Congrats, mate!” Often thereafter, I get bombarded with questions about the pros-&-cons of the said offer, and in past, three out of five such teammates have left my office with a decision not to leave the job! And even the ones who chose otherwise left with my best wishes!

I follow this approach, as I don’t think staying with the same company till one retires is necessary. Moreover, the Gen-Y young talent doesn’t operate in ‘one-life, one-company’ manner. While I believe working longer years for an organization pays off in long term and don’t think job-hopping every two years is good either, it isn’t certainly a crime to ‘resign’. Merely because one didn’t stay long-term with the team or the company doesn’t make that employee any less valued in my books.

In my view, leaders should take pride in not only their work, but also in the teams they have built. And just the way a great leader or company attracts quality talent; better and greater companies and/or opportunities shall attract the same quality talent away from you at times. Taking pride in your team will help you let go, when merited. After all, would someone have decided to make a non-turn-down-able, lucrative offer to your employees, if they were not any good? When great businesses can get bought, why wouldn’t great talent be hunted for?

All of us did leave some job to join the one we are in; thus, I am a firm advocate of doing a superb job while working for a company, with utmost focus and commitment, giving it all. Yet, I do appreciate if one pursues better opportunities elsewhere. Chances are, and my experience says surely, if your offerings are better, (Read: authenticity, respect, learning & career-opportunities and challenges), all ‘well-meaning’ talent will stick with you for the time your offerings stay this way.

This approach, when deployed authentically, does a few things right for me; it permeates a culture of trust and openness, doesn’t leave anyone harbouring any ill feeling at the time of separation and yet, establishes the fundamental fact that no one is irreplaceable, howsoever outstanding he is at his work. This approach makes me value all my teammates, regard the great performers even more, and yet, helps me not look at them with disdain when they wish to move on.

I would rather engage my teammates by what I can offer fairly, every day, than to keep my best offer saved for the last day. And then, when they still decide to take the plunge, I wish them farewell.

What do you do?


Image-credit: vkrmphoto.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are author’s own and not of the organization he is associated with.

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