Dear Ms. S de G-
I would like to schedule some time to meet with you this week. I was passed over for a promotion and would like to move out of the department I am in. I feel I am not appreciated and the work I have contributed over the my many years with this organization is not valued.
I’d like to meet with you to discuss this matter and see what other opportunities for me here.
First, if there was a top 10 list of
crappy challenging communications for a manager to handle Monday morning, this would rank pretty high.
This is a (repeat after me) “Land-mine“.
When an employee wants to leave their current position citing non-monetary extrinsic motivations, it is generally because either a) they feel they can add more value elsewhere or, b) they feel the value they add is not appreciated.
These two points may seem similar, but are not the same.
Reason A: The ‘Do-Gooder’
Reason “A” comes from an employee who remains engaged with the company they work with, as well as their manager. That last point, about working well with the manager, is very important.
The adage that people don’t leave companies, they leave their bosses, can be true. I would even venture to say it is generally true. But, it is not the only reason.
It is important that managers take their ego out of every employee departure and learn to appreciate when an employee simply wants to do more.
These type of employees want to drive change and create improvements while they move forward in their career, but the move is based on their desire to add greater value. To add value, they may need to change from one department to another, or report to someone else, but the move is not compelled by the relationship with the manager. It is compelled by the idea that they can be of greater service to their organization or to their industry/field.
In other words, as far as the manager is concerned, it’s not all about YOU.
Reason B: The Escape Artist
Reason “B” is what employees use when they have begun to disconnect from their manager, and at times, from the organization. They are looking for a quick way out but are still weighing their possibilities within the organization.
They may not outwardly tell someone they are unhappy, but you see it just the same. You may notice it in their interactions with others, their performance and productivity or in their attempts to flee from under the purview of their current supervisor.
On the surface, this employee was upset about being passed over for a promotion.
Beneath the surface, an employee’s long-time feelings of resentment and what they perceive as a lack of appreciation just found an opportunity to vent. It also doesn’t help that the manager did a piss poor job of handling a great opportunity to have a crucial conversation with a member of their team.
And unfortunately, this is exactly when most managers screw it up.
So did I have to schedule Jedi Office Hours for this?
Well yes… and here’s why.
Additional Land mines
- The employee/rejected applicant was asked to train the new employee/successful applicant on current processes related to their job.
- The employee/rejected applicant sent this email about an hour after it was announced the position went to someone else; their manager was copied.
- The manager did not consult with HR on how best to handle the conversation with the employee/rejected applicant. Typically that’s fine, as long as you don’t handle the conversation like a bull in a china shop.
I scheduled the appointment and spoke to the employee, completely changing how I viewed leadership in the process.
You’ll understand why next post.