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How to manage a corporate breakup

This is an historic week, article 50 has been officially triggered, marking the start of our formal exit from the EU. Whatever your political views on Brexit, whether you believe it will be a good or a bad thing, it’s happening. But one thing is for sure, the breakup of any relationship whether personal or business can be messy. Making both sides happy with the outcome is often an impossible task.

Within my working life, I’ve seen many a relationship breakdown, leading to a messy exit from a company. So how can you ensure that the ‘corporate break up’ is as amicable as possible? Here is our advice, to both sides, on how to make it work…

Employers

A badly handled resignation can have a wider impact and cause ripples throughout a team, department or organisation.  So how do you effectively deal with an employee resignation? Read full article here…

  1. Don’t panic and keep it professional – make sure you look at it from every angle before jumping in with any offers of increased salary/responsibilities to try to keep them. While there are pros and cons, it is sometimes better to recruit a new motivated employee than to retain an unengaged member of staff.  Keep it professional and try not to let your personal feelings, whether positive or negative, impact your decisions and handling of the matter.
  2. Communicate – make sure that you have everything formally agreed and in writing, including; their last day, responsibilities they can/can not do during their notice period, as well as your expectations on their behaviour, what to do with company equipment (such as mobile phones) upon leaving, remaining annual leave entitlement etc.  It is best to formally announce a resignation as soon as possible, so you can answer any questions or concerns of remaining employees rather than allowing it to become the subject of office gossip.
  3. Handover process – Have a clear plan of action on who will be doing what. Request a detailed hand-over document from your departing employee, that includes information on key projects and processes, contact details for both internal and external clients, supplier information and the status of current projects.
  4. Ask why? – when any relationship ends it’s good to find out why, so you can learn from your (or their) mistakes. As standard you should conduct exit interviews, whether these are formal face-to-face affairs, a written questionnaire or simply an informal chat over a coffee. Find out why they’re leaving and use the information to improve the working environment for your current and future employees.

Employees

So you’ve decided now is the time to go, you’ve found a new job and you’re ready to hand in your notice. While there might be the temptation for a dramatic gesture, it could come back to haunt you further on in your career. So, keep it professional…

  1. Be prepared – book a time to speak to your manager in private, have your formal letter of resignation ready, complete with your proposed leaving date etc.. Would you be willing to stay if you were given an increased salary or promotion. Think about this thoroughly in advance, what, if anything, would make you want to stay? While it can be tempting to stay for an increased salary, often the reasons for leaving go beyond money and six months down the line the issues that prompted your job search will still be there.
  2. Be professional – once you know you’re leaving it’s easy to move down a gear and lose motivation, but whether you have a four week or a six month notice period maintain an interest in your role, don’t start slacking or become a disruptive influence in the office.
  3. Be honest – most companies will ask why you’re leaving. Be as honest as possible, if organisations don’t know their faults, they can’t work towards correcting them. But, don’t turn it into a witch hunt, remember point two and stay professional.
  4. Leave on good terms – the world is getting smaller and you never know when you may come into contact with your previous employer or colleagues again in the future. Leave with a smile. Thank them for the role they’ve played in your career, a few kind words can go a long way.

Let’s hope that we manage to negotiate a good exit from the EU, remain professional, cause as minimal disruption as possible and leave on good terms, we never know when we might need them again in the future.

For more information on how we can help with any outplacement or recruitment needs then please get in touch.

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