Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Arguments for and against announcements of employee departures - first draft

There are several views regarding the announcement or non-announcement of departures of people from a company, and I guess it's best if I characterize them at a high level. Here are some possible arguments AGAINST announcing company dapartures:

  • The company is what matters. Regardless of whether you're working with me or with Jane or with Brad, in essence you are working with WidgetCorp when all is said and done. Jane, or Brad, or I are representing WidgetCorp, and the attention that you receive from WidgetCorp shouldn't change because Jane turns up next week in my place. Therefore, the departure of a single individual is not that important.

  • We don't want to embarrass the employee. If I am fired from WidgetCorp for overly exuberant disco dancing while working on process maps, why air that dirty laundry out in public?
Here are some possible arguments FOR announcing company departures:
  • The individual is what matters. People form relationships with people, not entities. Therefore, we need to take time to recognize the departing person. OK, so maybe that guy got a little exuberant in his disco dancing, but he did help our division win the Halloween costume contests every year (though we don't know where he got the John Travolta white outfit in the first place). So let's give the person a fine sendoff as he pursues other opportunities.

  • Recognizing the departure allows the comapny to facilitate the transition. Over the last year, I have personally received a couple of emails along these lines: "Hi, I'm transferring to different responsibilities in WidgetCorp, but I wanted to take the time to introduce you to Bob, who's a real swell guy and who will definitely look out for you."
OK, so there are two possible high-level reasons for NOT formally announcing a departure from the company, and two possible high-level reasons FOR formally announcing a departure from the company.

Can you think of others? If so, share them below in the Disqus comments.

Or share them in FriendFeed.

If I get any feedback, I'll redraft these possible reasons and go from there.

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