Since leaving college, I’ve thought it odd when bosses feel upset, betrayed or irritated when a good employee decides to take a job somewhere else. I hope if I were an employer, I would thank employees for their contributions and congratulate them on a new position they believe would improve their quality of life.
But I continue to hear stories of employees leaving on uncomfortable terms. I’m not referring to shouting matches. I’m speaking of snarky remarks and ungrateful comments that ensure boss and employee won’t be later sharing Facebook posts.
Employees share these stories. And when awkward goodbyes become a trend, an employer gets a reputation. Some bosses feel no matter how many disgruntled players leave, they’ll simply draft suitable replacements. But I believe one disgruntled good player after another can’t continue to leave without some sort of eventual impact on the bottom line.
Too often many companies seem to forget their employees are customers and brand enthusiasts. The way employers handle a farewell could mean they either keep or lose these key stakeholders.
Our recommendation is for employers to at least try to be the bigger person and be remembered as someone who sent a worker off with a great farewell. Send out a positive memo to the staff. For excellent employees, throw a party or farewell lunch. Don’t allow the disagreements at the end of someone’s stay stain another good relationship. Being nasty at the end could bring negative effects lasting a lot longer than the employee’s last walk out the door.