I recently read the headline of an article entitled “the beginning”, strangely I found myself thinking of endings. Not totally off point as often for something to begin, something else must end.
They say all good things must come to an end. I don’t believe it’s ALL things. However sometimes they just do. Not because we didn’t give our best, stopped caring or what have you – sometimes things just change and the synergy is just not there – it becomes hard work and/or it ceases to be fulfilling.
This happens on a personal level in the various relationships we have. It also happens within various work environments. Often the signs are there long before we realise that its time to bring a chapter to a close. There may be agitations, irritations and frustrations – ultimately it’s not as fulfilling as it used to be and/or people seem to act different towards us and we suddenly become increasingly aware of all that’s wrong.
When we finally realise its not working any more we typically try to do one more thing; to give things another go – no one wants to be seen as someone that has given up or failed.
If we have the opportunity to talk to a representative of the other party sometimes we do so in a desperate bid to make things work. If they are willing and able to put things in place or changes things or if both parties are willing to work together – all may be well and good, as things just may turn around.
Often times though things have changed for a reason – a change in strategy, focus and priorities and so though the heart may be willing the reality is things are different and sticking around under those circumstances often ends up doing more harm than good.
I once worked with an HR director who said that when employees tell her they want to leave she never tries to persuade them to stay, as they will soon leave anyway.
Whilst I’m more I inclined to listen to the language they use, to take the time to understand their reasons and consider how far down the line the individual is; more often than not I do believe she’s right.
For the other cases an organisation’s employee engagement strategies should actually prevent them from reaching the place whereby they consider leaving in the first place. By engagement strategies I’m not necessary talking about anything fancy. More than anything else it’s basic communications be it through open communications that enables employees to speak openly to managers; one to one meetings that assess where employees are/what’s going on; and/or performance management processes that show an employees next steps/plans and whether/how they still fit with the organisation.
The ultimate decision however lies with an individual – it’s easiest to accept and handle things if there is a key incident or if a new and compelling opportunity arises. However one thing I’ve learnt is when it’s time, it’s no use dwindling, you just prolong the pain. So make a plan (openly if its practical to do so), pack your bags and move on. The sooner you do the sooner you end the negativity and open yourself up to fresh, new opportunities
After all not talking about leaving just because someone upset you one day. I’m referring to deep prolonged issues that the different parties aren’t ready/able to work together to resolve.
Susan Popoola runs Conning Towers Ltd, an HR organisation focused on Talent Management and HR Transformation and Engaged For Success a Social Enterprise. She is also the published author of Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective and Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain. She is also Winner Women4Africa Author of the Year 2013
Copyright 2015. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source.