When a team member is willing to call and say, “Hey, I am thinking about quitting” sometimes the relationship can be saved.

By Steve Moran

I love Randy Brown, the CEO of Rowntree Gardens. He is the accidental CEO of a historic Quaker-based CCRC in Southern California. I think particularly because he is an accidental CEO, he is one of the most open-minded leaders I know. He is willing to experiment, fail, try new and different things, and pull ideas from outside our sector.

In our last Culture 2100 Inner Circle gathering in Puerto Rico, he talked a bit about the new millennial recruiter they hired earlier in the year. I have already written that story in THIS ARTICLE. But Randy talked about one very specific thing this recruiter does, that has been startlingly valuable.

As part of the hiring process, he looks across the desk to each new hire and says this one thing:

“Don’t Just Quit, Call Me!”

A Great Job Market and . . .

Because we are in such a great job market, if (or maybe more accurately when) things are less than perfect at work, there is not much incentive to put up with an unpleasant work environment. And while the first few days and weeks on the job can be full of anticipation and optimism there is also great opportunity for disappointment.

Expectations may be too high; the understanding of the job may be flawed; or maybe someone is just plain thoughtless in their treatment of a new team member. Or worst of all, a resident may treat a team member badly.

Creating even more risk, it might very mean their moving from one job to another includes more money.

Remembering Why

And yet for all of that, the team member sees something in the job and in the organization to accept the job offer. What Rowntree has found is that when a team member is willing to call and say, “Hey I am thinking about quitting” sometimes the relationship can be saved, and there is nothing better than that.

It may be that the job is a wrong fit and there is another better position for that individual. Or maybe they had a single bad experience in those first few critical weeks. Or . . . maybe they had a bad day at home or away from work.   

Is the Relationship Worth Saving?

The simple answer is almost always yes. It is possible that on occasion it is good riddance, but mostly though the new team member does not yet have enough solid relationships to carry him or her through those critical early stages. As those relationships build, the tough moments will be blips with a much broader perspective.

We people are such sensitive creatures and we live in a society that encourages us to be easily offended. It is a simple human thing to do for new team members.