Thinking of handing in your notice post lockdown? Here is what people fail to consider…

2020 has seen much of the UK revaluate their lifestyle and make adjustments that ignite positivity.  As working from home becomes the new normal, for many it has unveiled their value and the real impact of what they contribute to the workplace. As the government gives the green light to head back to the office, many are considering whether it is time to move on, seek a pay rise/promotion or even take their side hustle full time.  Here, HR Director Michael Daly at the health and lifestyle brand Improb reveals the 5 things everyone must consider before they hand in their notice, the factors that are oven overlooked and advises how to approach the subject with your boss if you are working from home.

Do not make permanent decisions on temporary emotions

It is safe to say that the events of 2020 has led emotions to emotions running high.  As a result, we may be more sensitive to any negativity that is thrown our way.  According to Daly, this must be considered before making any major decisions that lead to a permeant outcome.  ‘It is inevitable that we will experience stress in our workplace environment on a weekly, if not daily basis.  As many of us are working from home, this can have more of an impact on our stress levels as ultimately, there is little form of escapism from the office.  Some Are also finding that they are working longer hours as they no longer commute, sometimes fuelling anxiety’. 

‘Ongoing stress can lead to rash decisions.  If you are wanting to resign due to a particularly stressful situation at work, establish if the circumstance is temporary or permanent.  If it is permanent, determine if you can navigate through the it until the stress subsides.  You may even be able to use the event as leverage towards a promotion or pay rise.  Taking such a stance will give you the opportunity to evaluate the situation and determine if you would still like to resign from the workplace.’

‘Unfortunately, the pressure in the workplace may be unending and even the norm.  Keep a diary of stress.  Include the date, time, and description of the events that resulted in stress.  After 2 weeks, decide whether the pressure occurs to often to allow a happy workplace environment and ascertain if resignation is the solution.  If resignation is necessary however, and you begin to have doubts in the run up to your end date, refer back to the diary to reinforce the reasons that you are leaving’. 

Colleagues or culture?

Working with colleagues can be a blessing however, it can also be a curse.  For some, working from home has highlighted a toxic workplace that is a result of actions made by colleagues.  In this circumstance it can appear that resigning is the only way to remove the toxicity from your day to day living.  ‘Not everybody loves their colleagues’, says Daly.  ‘Sometimes, when personalities clash, it is so profound it impacts the atmosphere and actions of others.  As a result, it can feel like the culture of the company is uneasy.  If you deem your workplace toxic, assess whether it is personality clashes or something more sinister.  Personality clashes can be mediated through conversation and transparent communication.  If handing in your notice becomes inevitable, it is wise to remember that there will be different personalities in every workplace and that you may have the same situation resurface’.

‘If the toxic environment is engrained in the company culture and events have been sinister, do not be afraid to seek aid from HR.  If you initially do not want to declare your feelings in house, there are several independent HR consultants and employment lawyers that offer free consultations for a set period (usually 30 mins).  Attend the meeting prepared (whether it is over Zoom or otherwise), as the 30 miniutes usually flies by.  From here you can assess your options and take.’

Behind closed doors

‘Of course, it is inevitable that a workplace will receive a turnover in staff’, says Daly.  ‘As a HR Director, I hear an array of reasons for people seeking pastures new.  A reason I frequently hear is that the employee is seeking a promotion or a pay rise.  Often, this is perfectly reasonable and a logical decision.  However, it always amazes me how many people hand in their resignation to accept another role without discussing the opportunities in their current workplace with the necessary people.  I have witnessed several times colleagues voice their plans to resign knowing that they were cleared for a promotion in the coming weeks.  Workplaces LOVE it when colleagues enquire about promotion.  Not only does it showcase ambition, but it also indicates that they are loyal.  If your reasoning for leaving a workplace is to receive a promotion, always discuss your current workplaces future first.  There is often a lot discussed behind closed doors and away from the office floor, especially promotion’.

New workplace = new salary?

77% of people leave their current job to obtain a higher salary.  Working from home has shined a spotlight on the work that people produce and many now feel that they are underpaid.  ‘It genuinely amazes me how many times I hear that people have left a place of work that they are genuinely happy in to attain a higher income without initially discussing the possibility of an increase in their current workplace says Daly’. ‘Of course, the current climate is a tricky time to ask for a pay rise however, this is not the case across the board.  If you genuinely feel that you are deserving of a pay rise, do not be afraid to put your case together. Whether it is client wins, additional responsibility, or a high quality of work, do not be afraid to shout about them.   A lot of the time, the decision makers simply are not aware of the achievements of others as they have not been told, have their own responsibilities or simply not in the office’.

Knee jerk reaction

As humans, we are reactive species.  We often react to situations without taking the time to gather all the relevant information.  ‘A resignation that is the result of a knee jerk reaction to a temporary situation is regretted by the employee 99.9% of the time.  Often, their pride gets in the way of retracting the notice once things have settled.  If you wish to hand in your resignation off the back of a singular event, I strongly recommend that you pause proceedings for 5 days.  This allows you to gather information and asses it over time.  It also allows you to gain the opinions of people that you trust and are subjective’.

The dos

  • Be 100% sure that you are making the right decision
  • Be ready for a counteroffer – Decide what type of counteroffer could potentially retract your resignation
  • Asses the positives and negatives

The don’ts

  • Be aggressive in your manner whilst listing everything that you deem wrong with the company
  • Do not dictate the terms of you leaving date etc.
  • Do not hand in your notice unless you are fully prepared to leave!

The scenario if working from homes 

‘Handing in your notice via email with no warning is usually a huge taboo’, says Daly.  ‘However, as everyone is working from home, the boundaries have somewhat shifted.  I would not use the current climate as an excuse to perhaps avoid a potentially awkward conversation.  A telephone conversation or a virtual meeting is somewhat a must before handing in your formal resignation unless it absolutely cannot be avoided.’

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