Monday, 15 october 2018 | Redacción CEU
Farewells are always bitter, especially when someone has to assume a position of responsibility. Although an employee's goodbye is desired with fervor and their dismissal is more than justified, firing someone is not an easy job to perform. There are many articles that address this matter: how to prepare to face this uncomfortable task, some advice on proceeding in the most appropriate way, circumstances that must be met in order for these dismissals to comply with the law and even issues about the ethical perspective when it comes to carrying them out. Nevertheless, the matter of knowing how to accept the departure of talented professionals when they want to leave, which is not easy either, is treated with less emphasis. How to proceed when employees are the ones who decide to leave the company in search of a better job opportunity? How to say goodbye in these and other cases, and why is it necessary?
Talent is a lever for the progress of companies. Organizations will not achieve progress, if their march is not accompanied by the firm pace of good professionals. Most companies are fully aware of this circumstance, ever greater number of them dedicate a titanic effort to seek and attract the best talent. Sometimes, they do not make the efforts which are necessary in order to retain those professionals (lack of recognition, expectations that are not met, few opportunities for growth, etc.) and the exceptional employees end up leaving. Other times, the issues that motivate their withdrawal are external. But, whatever the reason for their departure is, their farewell should never be done in a careless manner.
The principles of an ethical goodbye
In many articles, we have addressed the unavoidable need for facing the leadership of any organization with a strong commitment to ethics. As we explained, ethics is a transversal issue, which means it concerns different areas and dimensions within the company. For that reason, it can never be left behind in the decision-making and should guide the behavior of employees and, above all, of those who are responsible for setting the course to follow.
Companies' leaders, which are always accompanied and driven by the response they get from their employees, are responsible for creating the ethical framework and the culture of values on which organizations rests. From this perspective, it is necessary for them to establish the limits, since the ethical approach must be complete to be effective, it should not only be limited to safeguard different key points such as the principle of equity and impartiality or the indisputable precept of not harming any human being. In other words, for a company to be ethical, it must take into account sound values and clear fundamentals in all circumstances. Of course, it should also do so when it comes to saying goodbye to professionals.
One of the most frequent mistakes when facing the departure of talented employees is labeling them as disloyal or ungrateful workers. Just as it is difficult for managers to proceed with the dismissal of employees, it is also not easy for professionals to make the decision of ending their employment relationships (even when these ones have not been satisfactory). Besides, behind their decision of leaving there can be very different reasons: the uncertainty in their current job, the improvement of their working conditions in other companies, the inability to grow as professionals there, personal circumstances, work overload, etc. Then, these moments can be exceptional opportunities to learn more about these companies, see the organizations from different perspectives and understand what situation they are in (especially if their talent drain is persistent).