How to let employees move on?

By Savithri Subramanian
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Many a time, people select roles that are not right for them due to reasons they have no control. It may be due to not doing enough research about the organization, inconsistent expectations about the job following the hiring process, a high need for stable employment, poor talent management processes or mismatched workplace culture. They may do well their part in the team work but will always look for an opportunity outside the organization because they’re unhappy and will want to quit once they find one.

In a team, it is easy to find an underperforming employee.  The manager has to find ways to first upgrade his skills and help him to contribute to the business like his other team members. At times it may not be due to the lack of skill that the underperforming employee fails to contribute. Whatever may be the reason, this can cause resentment from other team members who perform, which affects the overall performance of the team. Every time firing an employee may not be the solution. Another option to firing an employee is to help them to quit and this will help them grow in their career as well.

    • The manager can amicably have a dialogue asking the employee to look for a job outside the organization. The employee could be given some months in which time he can attend interviews and pave his career.
    • Another option could be when the employee could be asked to take a long leave with some monetary benefits.
    • Sometimes to smoothen a confidant who can be a friend of the employee could be taken into confidence and through this confidant the employee could be asked to look for a job outside the organization.

Many a time the reason for a person to leave the organization could be a hike in his take-home pay and sometimes it may not be easy to meet with a counter-offer. It may be that knowing the employee, the offer is not worth counter offer for the employee’s skill and contribution. It is better not to bother with a counteroffer—just wish the person well, make the transition pleasant for everyone, and try to stay in touch for the future.

Sometimes an employee who has been working closely for years, chooses to leave on their own. There’s nothing you could have done to avoid it. The person may want to switch to a new industry or access an opportunity that the present organization doesn’t offer. Then at times personal reasons like a spouse’s movement to a new city, a sick relative to take care of, and like.  When the employee does break the news, it might hamper the team’s spirit and this again is a challenge for the manager and the HR to handle very delicately so that the team is not affected and the resigning employee moves on without much disturbance in the team. It’s important to accept the news in a mature manner, understanding the fact that people still leave.

In an effort to drive away an employee with out firing him, creating a condition so miserable that the employee chooses to leave on their own can be the worst strategy ever. This humiliates the employee and develops toxicity in the workplace that is hard to purge. This might create an ill feeling in the minds of the existing employees towards the organization or the manager. At all cost, this needs to be avoided.

Transferring the employee to another department/branch could be a tactic the managers adopt for getting rid of a problem at our end and transferring the same to another in the organization. Assuming the employee has the necessary skills and attitude, moving them to a new position may be worth the effort. On the other hand, if the employee has a poor attitude and a lack of ability, transferring them may not be a good decision, as you are simply solving one department’s problem by making an issue elsewhere. But subsequently, the employee would find some other opening elsewhere and move out without much resentment.

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