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Terminations: A True Test of Your Company Culture
Posted By Jim Roddy On December 19, 2012 @ 5:58 am In Advice and How-Tos | 9 Comments
All of us have heard about messy terminations, and some of us have witnessed them firsthand. The most memorable are the employee who is escorted from the building, scowling at managers on the way out, or the guy who punches a hole in the conference room drywall in a fit of frustration. There’s also the person who quits without confrontation or communication, packing up their things when nobody’s watching, and leaving an “I Quit!” note for their supervisor.
The circumstances around other terminations are just plain awkward, and when you see the ex-employee in the grocery store, you unknowingly head to the Tampax aisle (even though you’re a single guy) just to avoid the conversation.
How can you avoid ugly terminations? Here are four suggestions for building the right culture:
At my company (Jameson Publishing ), our hiring best practices have reduced our turnover significantly, but you can’t eliminate it completely. Last month, an eight-year sales employee left our team for an opportunity to be part of a start-up company. Here’s the email he sent to all employees just before he walked out the door:
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 10:49 AM
Subject: Good Bye!
I wanted to send a quick email to say “Good Bye.” I have tried my best to get around to see everyone to let them know that I was leaving because I feel that it is time for me to push out of my comfort zone and take advantage of an opportunity to see what my potential can be.
I will truly miss everyone here. I have grown up with this company, almost 8 years. Two kids, engaged, great friends, and it has made me a better person.
People have different opinions about every topic in the world and that’s why they are “opinions.” Well here is a fact. One thing this company has done right and will continue to do right is that they hire stellar people. Great people. I feel that being a part of this company has made me a better person, and I contribute that to all of you.
One more anecdote for you: Two weeks ago, a former employee of ours spent most of the morning in our office showing off her three-month old baby boy. After talking with me for nearly half an hour, she changed her son’s (incredibly) dirty diaper on my office floor. Her son then proceeded to spit up on her shoulder, side, and lower back, which I helped clean up.
That might have been the highlight of my work week, even though our sales team brought in over $1 million that week. It reinforced to me that we’ve built a positive company culture — a community that will always include our former employees.
And happy holidays!
photo from Bigstock 
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 Jameson Publishing: http://www.JamesonPublishing.com
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