Alison Green, Inc.com’s columnist answers your questions on workplace management. She can answer everything from how to handle a boss who micromanages to how to communicate with someone in your team regarding body odor.
My opinion about an employee has been changed dramatically by her resignation. I don’t know if this is unfair. Could you please help me to rebalance my instincts?
Ariel, an employee in my team was initially hired by Ursula for another team. Ariel quit because of Ursula’s micromanagement, which was a complaint shared by everyone working under her. Ursula left shortly thereafter. Ariel was hired again to fill the vacancy on my team.
Ariel was back in the company about three months before. She received an important raise over her salary when she returned, while others who were not employees received the same raise.
Ariel resigned last week with a notice of just two weeks. Ariel says that she was offered a great opportunity to lead and build a team and receive a significant raise. I didn’t get any hint that she wasn’t happy.
Ariel was here for one year, if you do not count the time she spent between resignation and being rehired. She job-hopped three months after her rehire. This included two vacations, which were travel plans that she had made before being rehired, and two sick leaves lasting more than two weeks. Her departure comes less than one month prior to the largest tradeshow in our industry. She was also responsible for the execution and planning of this event. Due to her departure, we will need to pay a lot more for professional production support. We have a small team.
Ariel has a great opportunity and I am happy. I know her preparation helped me prepare. Her work is outstanding and she deserves to grow and advance. Is it not unprofessional to accept a raise and then leave your team behind? If I ever ask for a reference, will it impact my perception of her? Are you sure I didn’t make a mistake in supporting the rehire of an employee who had resigned before?
I generally tell Ariel-like people that they should do the best they can, but that it is possible to burn bridges and that that’s okay.
That bridge is you.
It is understandable for Ariel to act in her best interests when she has a new job that offers a significant raise in pay and increased responsibilities.
It’s understandable, however, that Ariel would make you feel like she was cheating you. You wouldn’t ever hire her again or perform more favors for Ariel. This is the burnt bridge.
Although she might have made the right decision for her, it is the type of situation where I would tell Ariel, if she was the one who wrote to me, “Realize how this really sucks to them. They’re not going to be happy for you.”
However, I wouldn’t get hung up on the fact that she hadn’t given any indication that she was unhappy. You could be right that she was unsatisfied and started job hunting soon after she began. However, it is also possible that the situation was already in place before you offered your position or she simply didn’t know what to do.
It’s also important to not get distracted by the fact it is a month before tradeshow, and the additional production staff you will need. This happens to people who leave. It could happen even though she was there for many years. This makes it more difficult. It’s tempting to say that Ariel wronged us in some way, but it isn’t. More like “eh, stuff happened.” It makes Ariel’s actions seem more egregious to me, though I understand why.
It’s difficult to tell if you have made any mistakes here without more details. Did Ariel perform well in the first year of her tenure? Are her talents worth the substantial raise she received to allow her to come back? Do you get the impression that she is enthusiastic about coming back and will be staying at least for a few more years? You didn’t make a mistake if all the questions were answered “yes”. If the answers to those questions aren’t qualified yeses then there is probably scope for you to figure out how you would do it differently next time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should never hire former employees. This means that you shouldn’t hire former employees back. Instead, reflect on the potential commitment and talents of these people. If significant increases are being offered to bring people back to your company, ensure they fit within your existing salary structure. People sometimes get too excited about hiring a well-known quantity and forget to evaluate the situation.
And about future references, when it comes to talking about Ariel’s work, you should give her the same reference you would have given before this. You can say that she quit after only three months to go to a new job. The majority of the information I can give you about her second stint is from this time. However, you should not use that as criticism.
Publiated at Mon, 16 August 2021 13:41.03 +0000