The Power Of Organizational Culture In The Digital World Part 2
This is a follow up to my previous article THE POWER OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE IN THE DIGITAL WORLD
Organizational Culture is the latest “buzz word” which is being thrown around with reckless abandon by a surfeit of retailers/businesses. I have always believed that the real reputation of your company/brand is in the perception of your employees (current and separated), customers, vendors, and peers. This is where the “rubber meets the road” per se. Some leaders are drinking their own kool-aid while ignoring the empirical data that suggests otherwise.
There are many top-tier organizations who are really embodying the true message of culture through their actions, beliefs, and convictions. The positive energy that is created by their actions is perfectly aligned with their intentions and permeates throughout the entire company. This type of organizational culture can be felt by and resonates with all individuals from top to bottom within the company.
One of the truest litmus tests that determine the extent of your culture is how you treat separating employees; either voluntarily or involuntarily! Are your actions congruent with your message about really caring for your employees? I always treated being a leader as an honor and privilege that I graciously accepted with humility, respect, and reverence. Human beings want transparency and honesty from their leaders.
RETAIL RESOURCE TO ASSIST LEADERS
It is humbling to see so many people resonating with my new book: The Ultimate Retail Manual. It brings me great joy to share the knowledge that I gleaned during my thirty-year tenure within the retail sector as an executive leader with others. I wrote the book to assist other retail/business leaders with adjusting, adapting, and acclimating to the New Retail Ethos we are experiencing in the retail sector.
“In addition, the retail manual has an international presence that is resonating with readers in Germany, Mexico, UK, France, Italy, Ireland, Canada, and Australia.”
What an honor to share The Ultimate Retail Manual with other countries around the world. In addition, the retail manual has an international presence that is resonating with readers in Germany, Mexico, UK, France, Italy, Ireland, Canada, and Australia.
I felt compelled to write this book because I remember the feeling of being utterly overwhelmed by the breadth of knowledge that is required to become a true servant leader in a retail or business environment. I have devoted three chapters to Organizational Culture in the book to completely impress the paramount importance of this pillar.
I never fully understood the dichotomous behavior of the termination/resignation process. When you are terminated there is usually zero notice given however, if you resign without giving a two-week or longer notice you are considered unprofessional, disloyal, and ungrateful. As leaders, we should be modeling and championing the behavior of decency, fairness, and empathy with our employees when going through the separation process.
CONSISTENT STANDARDS FOR TWO-WEEK NOTICES
There are some major discrepancies with how retailers conduct business when employees/managers offer their resignation by putting in their two-week notice. It seems to be an unfair practice that is severely slanted in the company’s favor. It forces the employee/manager between a “rock and a hard place” when they are transitioning to another stage in their professional life.
Most states are considered an “at-will state” for employment. This means the employer or employee can sever the relationship with no notice and for no stated cause, unless there is an employment agreement between both parties specifically stating certain provisions, e.g., length of the contract, duration of employment, or proper protocols for separation.
“FAIRNESS IS THE CURRENCY OF DECENCY. “
Numerous retailers are subjecting their entire corporation to negative exposure, a scarcity of future candidates, and derogative stereotypes by how they are mishandling their employees who desire to separate. I have witnessed an exorbitant number of individuals who have impressive character, strong morals, and high integrity. They submit their two-week notice, only to be IMMEDIATELY ESCORTED out of the building subjecting them to a humiliating and degrading process when they were attempting to do the honorable thing.
This type of unprofessional behavior spreads like a brushfire throughout the sector you operate within while establishing a benchmark. Even if it is only a small percentage of stores acting this way, that XYZ corporation has an organizational culture of mistreating their employees when they decide to separate. FAIRNESS IS THE CURRENCY OF DECENCY.
“Conversely, when the employee does not provide a standard two-week notice, they are subjected to being called disloyal, ungrateful, unappreciative, lacking character, unprofessional, or untrustworthy.”
Another unfavorable financial reality is that the employee COULD HAVE JUST LEFT with zero notice and started their new endeavor without missing a beat with their finances. However, quite possibly, they could have just lost two weeks’ worth of salary which could be thousands of dollars because they acted professionally.
Conversely, when the employee does not provide a standard two-week notice, they are subjected to being called disloyal, ungrateful, unappreciative, lacking character, unprofessional, or untrustworthy. Many retailers/businesses are creating an environment that is a no-lose proposition for them when it comes to two-week notices while unloading the full burden of risk onto the employee.
I have always thought that an organization/employee are characterized by their first impression and their last impression. In most cases, (not all, there are some unforeseen circumstances that are to be forgiven) this will be how people remember you. This double standard needs to stop, for this can be easily rectified by implementing a few concrete protocols surrounding separation etiquette:
- When an employee submits their two-week notice, they are given the chance to fulfill this commitment with full pay.
- If during this two-week fulfillment the employee does not maintain a professional and positive attitude while acting as a cancer for the other employees, then the individual can be asked to leave immediately with no further obligation to compensate.
- During this two-week fulfillment period, the employee is “expected to maintain” their standard level of productivity, i.e. no short-timing it.
- If an employer decides to separate immediately after receiving the individuals two-week notice, then the employee will receive the full two-week salary at 100% payout.
- If an employee engages in any illicit, illegal, or inappropriate activities, immediate separation will occur will no additional salary commitments.
When an employee submits their two-week notice, human resources will conduct an exit interview (within the two-week time frame) to gather apposite information to determine the individual’s reason/s for leaving while attempting to discern similarities that are becoming prevalent within the store/company.
“Many individuals experience massive guilt and anxiety with submitting a two-week notice or not submitting one due to the uncertainty surrounding the financial ramifications, being humiliated, possible indecent comments, or unfavorable treatment they could experience.”
To restate, the basic definition of karma is: what you put out to the universe, you will receive back in kind. Henceforth, if your company is treating individuals who wish to separate with unprofessional methods, what DO YOU THINK you will reap in return? Many individuals experience massive guilt and anxiety with submitting a two-week notice or not submitting one due to the uncertainty surrounding the financial ramifications, being humiliated, possible indecent comments, or unfavorable treatment they could experience.
Real organizations/leaders understand that there are going to be individuals who will separate and pursue additional opportunities to further their professional growth. Yet, they will still handle them with class, professionalism, empathy, decency, and kindness.
THE TERMINATION PROCESS
I have witnessed this specific protocol being uncharacteristically abused throughout my tenure within the retail sector because of the glaring inconsistencies in executing this procedure by the book. Many leaders (not all) become power-hungry with their positions which are driven by their inflated egos. This can (and will) damage an ENTIRE organization by their lack of empathy and cruel behavior when terminating an employee’s job position.
“The prestigious organizations are acting from a place of consistency and character.”
Now, many people will say that a terminated person will remain a disgruntled person. While there is some semblance of truth to that statement, a solid company with trustworthy and dedicated leaders will still be able to handle these situations with class and integrity.
The prestigious organizations are acting from a place of consistency and character. Both of these traits will usually attract the right type of candidates to their stores.
“A TERMINATED EMPLOYEE IS STILL A POTENTIAL CUSTOMER.”
Most companies forget that a terminated employee will share their experiences with their circle of influence, either positively or negatively. I have terminated many employees during my tenure. There is a gigantic difference between retailers that handle the situation with empathy and humility and organizations that act unprofessionally and with pretentiousness. A TERMINATED EMPLOYEE IS STILL A POTENTIAL CUSTOMER.
The companies from which I departed that acted with humility and kindness are organizations to which I will continue to give my patronage and will sing their praises whenever I can. The retail establishments that treated me with arrogance and egoism, conversely, will never receive my loyalty ever again – even after numerous leadership changes.
The act of termination is a LIFE-ALTERING EVENT for most individuals. It should be treated with respect and dignity. Even to those employees that completely deserve their discharge, they are still human beings and should be afforded the decency of a humbled leader/s commitment to ensuring the process is handled with reverence.
Some companies have a structured way to terminate employees. This can still be performed with disdain, arrogance, and embarrassment, which is completely unfair to the individual. I completely understand that many leaders feel that the severity of the reason for the termination should dictate how the process should proceed. Moreover, I have terminated many individuals who have committed egregious actions/behaviors which resulted in their termination for which I executed the process with compassion, empathy, and professionalism.
I hoped you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to share with your network to spread the message. Thank you in advance for your efforts.
What are your thoughts and experiences surrounding separating protocols???
EMBRACING CHANGE IN THE RETAIL SECTOR