Learn how to unpack a resignation letter and when to counter a offer.
- You think you're doing everything right, but then your employee drops the bomb. That resignation letter hits your desk. You were doing everything you were supposed to do, why are they still quitting? You might feel like you want to shove that ungrateful millennial right out the door. But you don't want to repeat this again in six months, it's too painful and ultimately it's just too expensive. You want to learn what you can from this employee before they leave, whether they were a slacker or a top performer, they have valuable information about what it's like to work for you and your company.
Look, I've quit jobs before and so have a lot of my friends, there are a few things you should know. When I quit my last job, I googled resignation letter template. No joke, so people write a generic resignation letter, but their reasons for quitting are so not generic. Nobody wants to write a letter that says, the leadership was poor, or the benefits were mediocre and my job was completely meaningless. Most people want to leave on good terms so they write a generic letter. But what help is that? Generic resignation letters thanking managers for opportunities in their great experiences are probably not telling the full story.
If it was so great they wouldn't be quitting. As a manager, it provides you with no constructive ways to improve your organization going forward. What's worse, while they gave you this generic resignation letter, the real resignation letter will turn up on Glass Door or LinkedIn. That's where they'll write everything they were thinking but never told you. In the old days if you didn't like your job or your boss, you told your five closest friends and a company might get a little of a reputation around town. But now thanks to the internet, people with no connection to your former employees will take their review as fact.
Think about the way you read Amazon reviews before you buy. That's the way potential employees read Glass Door and other sites. If the ratings are bad, you don't even click to find out why. That 45-year-old CFO you're trying to hire is reading what your 25-year-old receptionist said about you. It might not seem fair but it's reality. What your employees say about you online reflects whether or not you will be able to get top talent or even a warm body in the future. If you were employee has quit, you're probably not going to change their mind.
But you try to keep this from happening again by doing a thorough exit interview. Dive in, don't be afraid to hear the bad stuff and really try not to take it personally. Remember, millennial turnover is not uncommon. 38% of millennials do not expect to work at one place for nine years or more. Versus 30% of their non-millennial counterparts who have the same expectation. But just as employees are told to peacefully part ways with their current employer, the same goes for leadership. You're going to have to spend the time and money to find, hire and train a new one.
You might as well learn from the one who's leaving. In the exit interview, dig deep and ask specific questions framed around improvement. You can say things like, I'm always trying to improve as a leader, can you think of instances where you didn't have the tools you needed to succeed? Or did this job match your expectations? Is there anything you wish you had known going in? Or did your job feel meaningful, why or why not? Was salary a factor in your decision making? What we do best things about working here and what were the worst? Listening to the answers can be tough, try not to get defensive.
Remember, this person has already quit, all you can do is unpack why. Hopefully they won't burn the bridge either, but if they say something like I find absolutely no meaning in this soul sucking place, just pause and take it in. You can decide later whether there's any merit to their comments. You want to use the exit interview to get the unvarnished truth. How did they experience their job and how did they experience you? Unpacking the truth behind generic resignation letters will help you understand the situation and hopefully avoid it in the future.
- Framing the problem
- Interviewing millennials
- Communicating with millennials
- Engaging and retaining millennial talent
- Providing feedback and positive incentives
- Letting millennial employees go