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So much for being an employer of choice?

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in HR Management,Human Resources

by Mike Clark-Madison

OK, it's time for a little humor to break up the dog days of summer. Of course, this may not be so funny if you're one of the hiring managers involved ...

A recent survey by the staffing firm The Creative Group asked managers, "What's the most unusual reason you've heard from an employee quitting his or her job?" Here are some choice responses:

  • "He didn't like the smell of the office."
  • "He said he was making too much money and didn't feel like he was worth it."
  • "She didn't like the lighting in our building."
  • "He said he was overemployed."
  • "Someone left to join the circus."
  • "An employee said she was going to live on her trust fund."

In case you're wondering if these can possibly be real, I can attest that the last two have happened to me as well. And yes, they were "creative types."

This one, however, is fairly troubling: "He just walked out without a peep. Until this day we have no idea why he left, nor were we able to contact him."

The Creative Group's executive director, Tracey Fuller, describes the examples as "lighthearted," but I'm not so sure about the last one. Either something quite bad happened in that employee's personal life, or there was something quite wrong with that workplace. Is there anyone on your team who would leave without saying goodbye? And why?

The larger point that Fuller makes, though, is certainly valid: "You can't please every employee all the time. A certain amount of turnover is to be expected and may not be preventable." She recommends exit interviews, which is good advice. Our goal as managers should be to create workplaces where, even if employees flake out for bizarre reasons, we're not really surprised—and we're prepared to move forward, no matter what.

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