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This week I’m starting a new chapter in my life leading the HR Team at Mickey Thompson performance tires. Like any job change there is an element of the bittersweet. I will miss my co-workers and friends and the many good times we shared but I’m also excited to take on new challenges and opportunities at a company a little closer to my house and with less travel.
On my last day at the company, my manager sent out an email announcing my departure and wishing me good luck. It was a very nice gesture (heck at some companies they are shutting down your email before you are even done) and it made my day. But then I started getting phone calls and emails from people I worked with in the past. They weren’t calling for gossip or to figure out the “real” reason I was leaving. They called to wish me good luck. That was it. Just to say “Good luck.”
I don’t think there was a better way to end my day. It left an overwhelmingly positive impression of the company I spent the last three years working for.
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I’ve written on my own blog about how individuals should leave a company but how companies treat departing employees is just as important. In my post I advised departing individuals of a critical decision they can make:
“This is a time when you have a choice: you can resign and preserve relationships with the people you value or you can burn a lot of bridges.”
Managers have the same choice.
Now I know that there are some employees we practically hug when they give their notice. We can’t wait for those crazy people to leave. But I’m talking about the employees that you actually want to keep. The ones where you feel like this after they give you their resignation notice:
You can get mad (how could they leave!?). You can give them the cold shoulder for their notice period. OR you can graciously thank them, work proactively on their transition and wish them good luck. This works to the company’s benefit, when someone leaves on a positive note they are more likely to recommend the company to a potential hire. It also works to your benefit. Your employee leaves with a positive feeling and maybe you get a chance in the future to recruit them back.