Tag: BOSS

By Lauren Schumacker for Business Insider US

Leaving a job, no matter the reason, can be difficult and bittersweet. When possible, you’ll want to try to leave on good terms with your soon-to-be former employer and fellow employees.

Here are some tips for leaving your current job without wrecking your office relationships.

1. Make sure you tell your boss before you tell your colleagues

When you make the decision to leave, it can be tempting to share that news with your friends at work, but it’s important to tell your boss first.

“Let your boss know as soon as possible after you’ve made the decision to leave,” Molly Hetrick, a credentialed coach and workshop facilitator, told Insider.

“Regardless of your existing relationship, it’s important that your boss have time to digest the news, and that you have time to wrap up your work.”

2. Give plenty of notice

Chances are, you already know how much notice you should generally give your employer before leaving your current gig. If you guessed one week, you’re right.

“If you are not rushed to begin your next opportunity, consider offering more than the standard notice,” Monica Yeckley, a healthcare recruiter and staffing professional for Vaco Memphis, told Insider. “If you have proven to be a valued resource, replacing you will probably be difficult.”

If you’re jumping from one position to another, however, a month is enough notice to give and you might not want to give more than that.

Dave Sanford, the EVP of client relations WinterWyman, wrote that staying longer than the period can be difficult for your new boss and company to handle and can be confusing or disrespectful. It’s up to you to gauge the situation.

3. Make sure the coworkers you want to keep in touch with will have a way to reach you

“Give them your new contact information, connect with them on LinkedIn, whatever – be sure to reach out again once you have left your position,” Lisa Sansom, the owner of LVS Consulting, told Insider.

“Don’t be offended if they don’t stay in active touch – we all know that life can get busy. Just a nice email after you have left to let them know that you appreciated your time working with them, what you enjoyed about your connection and time together, etc, can say a lot.”

4. Explain your reasons for leaving in a positive and constructive manner

Above all, make sure that you keep your exit positive. That doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t explain your reasons for leaving, however.

“When announcing to your manager that you are quitting, be clear on your reasons for doing so, and do not blame other people or talk about petty things, like if you didn’t like the coffee in the common kitchen,” Sansom said. “Talk about what you are looking forward to in the future, and what you learned from this organisation that you will take forward with you.”

5. Let your boss know that you’re leaving in writing, not just verbally

You might think that telling your boss in person or over the phone that you’re moving on to something else is preferable to writing, but it’s still a good idea to get things written down.

“Prepare a concise and well-thought-out letter in hand, and remember to say ‘thank you’ to your employer for the opportunity,” Yeckley said.

Your letter doesn’t need to be lengthy or all-encompassing, just something that explains what’s going on while acknowledging your gratitude for the opportunity.

6. Make a list of all of the things that you currently do in your position

Since your boss might not know exactly what you do each day, it’s good to be clear about everything you did while you were there, Hetrick said.

Before you leave, make a list of what you currently do – all that falls under your job description and anything that you did that’s outside of your typical responsibilities – so that the team knows what needs to be covered and the person coming in after you has a clear idea of what they need to do.

7. Offer to help find someone to fill your role

If appropriate, it’s also nice to offer to help the company find someone to fill your current role.

“Leverage your connections and referral network to find people who can bring the same expertise on the table as you did,” Ketan Kapoor, the CEO and co-founder of Mettl, told Insider. “Assist your boss or recruitment teams to find a competent hire as your replacement soon and watch your trust quotient skyrocket.”

If you offer to help find someone new and the company declines your offer, that’s fine, at least you know that you tried to be considerate instead of leaving them in the lurch.

8. Make your colleagues’ lives easier, not harder

“Make sure you leave excellent documentation for your colleagues who will pick up your work when you’re gone,” Hetrick said. Remember that other people will have to cover your work after you leave until someone else is hired to replace you.

Being as considerate as possible of that when you’re preparing to leave makes you look better than if you leave all sorts of unfinished business and unorganised files behind.

9. Stay positive on social media, too

Don’t be overly negative when speaking to your boss or anyone else at your current company about why you’re leaving, but don’t vent or complain online, either.

“People also tend to vent on social media – even if it’s ‘vaguebooking'” – and that shouldn’t ever happen,” Sansom said. “First of all, it’s bad for your professional reputation. Secondly, most people don’t remember who can see their posts – are you sure you don’t have any coworkers or colleagues who can see that?

And then, if it is on someone’s screen, anyone can take a screenshot and send it along to your boss, for example. It can come back to bite you so easily – now or at any time in the future. Nothing is safe or secure or private out there. Nothing. So don’t vent on social media. Don’t even vent when you think you’re hiding all of the details. Just don’t.”

It’s not worth burning that bridge or ruining your own reputation by carelessly venting on social media.

10. Keep working hard until your very last day

After you’ve announced your intention to leave, it can sometimes be tempting to slack off a bit, but if you’re hoping to leave on a good note, working hard until your last day is a better way to go.

“Treat your final days like any other typical day and perform no differently than if you weren’t leaving,” Yeckley said. “It’s understandable that you’re thinking toward the future and [are] excited about your new endeavour, but continue to produce and give it your all. A good lasting impression will keep that bridge from burning.”

Social media is part of the modern fabric of interaction, with some reports suggesting that 66% of users spend time checking social media accounts while at work.

Industry tracker Mediakix suggests that popular platforms YouTube and Facebook consume one hour 15 minutes per day.

But when you leave your company, who owns your Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or even Gmail account? Legal experts in SA say the law is not clear.

“This is a grey area, and it would really depend on a thorough investigation of the history, purpose and origin of the social media account in question,” Pamela Stein, head of Employment Law at Webber Wentzel told Fin24.

“In order to demonstrate ownership, the employer would have to show that the social media account was clearly created for the purposes of promoting the growth of the business, and that this growth was achieved by social media activity generated during company time.”

Personal information

She added that factors over the ownership of a social media account would depend on whether the account had been created as part of the employment contract, or for the purpose of growing the organisation’s profile.

Unlike a company cellphone, computer or car, a social media account does not only exist on a mobile device, and the law assigns protections of personal information, as described in the Protection of Personal Information Act, which forbids unwanted sharing and exploitation of personal information.

“You have rights over your identity. However, if there was a clause in the contract of employment saying any personal account created during their employment is the property of the employer – perhaps the employer would have rights to it,” specialist technology attorney Russel Luck told Fin24, though he was careful to agree that the matter is not a settled one under South African law.

“If these accounts were set up so the employee could engage with the public as an extension of his work services, then perhaps the employer would have rights over it. Even more so if the email address used to verify the social media account is a work email, not personal one,” he added.

This reflects a US case in which Phonedog sued former employee Noah Kravitz over marketing on his Twitter account. The company alleged that 17 000 Twitter followers Kravitz had amassed was a customer list and demanded damages of $340 000.

A News24 survey revealed that 53% of social media users accessed the platforms while at while at work, and 3% said they would like to, but were not allowed.

Personal logins demand

Stein said that in SA, an employer seeking to claim a social media account would have to show just cause.

“Firstly, the employer would have to establish a basis for such a claim, and then sue the employee in the appropriate court depending on the cause of action.

“The employer could seek an order prohibiting the employee from any further use of the social media account and requiring the employee to take all reasonable steps to return the social media account to them.

“In addition, all social media sites allow users to report breaches et cetera and once such an order is obtained the social media platform could be notified and requested to assist.”

However, Luck argued that for a local company to demand personal logins to social media accounts would be a contravention of South African law.

“On the other side of the coin, SA law does follow international trends that you don’t need to give your employer your login details to your personal Facebook account – ie it’s unlawful to force an employee to do this.

“Where employers are making employment, promotion, dismissal or labour decisions based on access (or lack of access) to the personal Facebook account of an employee it would amount to unfair discrimination.”

Source: Fin24

An employer can dismiss a worker for inappropriate, insensitive and racist content posted on social media, even if it does not have anything to do with the employer or company, says Werksmans Attorneys.

Company director Bradley Workman Davies explains that this was because companies could face a backlash from customers, prospective customers and other stakeholders because of association, through the employment relationship, with the social media content of employees.

“As such, employers are entitled to be concerned about and to take action for inappropriate content posted by employees, as this has a potential to harm the business of the employer,” Davies says.

“Equally, employees should realise that in the digital age, with regards to the employment relationship, nothing posted publicly is private or irrelevant,” he adds.

In recent weeks, several incidents made headlines when employees were fired or suspended for their social media posts, which employers deemed inappropriate, insensitive or racist.

One of the more prominent incidents was that of media personality Gareth Cliff who was booted off the Idols show for tweeting on freedom of speech during the Penny Sparrow race debacle.

Cliff had tweeted that people did not really understand freedom of speech, which led people to assume that he supported Sparrow’s right to label black beachgoers as monkeys.

Cliff lodged an urgent application in the High Court in Johannesburg and on Friday M-Net was ordered to re-instate him.

eNCA news anchor Andrew Barnes was also given a two-week suspension last month after he mocked Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s pronunciation of the word “epitome”.

After receiving backlash on social media, he issued a public apology to the minister.

Action against an employee did not necessarily happen because of a breach of contract through their conduct, but because the employment relationship was based on trust. It could also be based on the broader category where the conduct could be seen to have the intention or effect of breaking the trust relationship between the two parties.

Davies explains that employers always had to afford the employee the right to make representations as to whether they were guilty before taking a decision on what action, if any, would be taken against an employee.

Davies says an employee’s social conduct outside of the workplace could also have an impact on the working relationship.

“This is a recognised principle of South African labour relations, which was acknowledged even under previous iterations of the Labour Relations Act (the 1954 Labour Relations Act, replaced in 1995), and applied by the Industrial Court historically.”

Davies used the example of an employee of Nehawu who was fired after being found guilty of misconduct after he consumed alcohol after hours while at a union congress.

“In this case, the adjudicator found that ’employees are considered to be employees 24 hours out of 24 hours at a congress’ and therefore, after hours consumption was as good as consumption during working hours.”

In another incident, an employer chose to fire colleagues who had had a fight outside of working hours.

“[This] resulted in a strained working relationship and the inability of a continued employment relationship,” Davies says.

He explained that the employment relationship was based on an inherent basis of trust and good faith and any action which caused a break in that relationship could justify the dismissal of the employee.

The same applied when an employee made a direct reference to his employer or colleague on a social media post.
Davies highlighted that the constitutional right to freedom of expression was not absolute. It was limited by Section 36 of the Constitution.

“It is important that when a person exercises the said right, she does not encroach on other person’s rights,” he says.

By Naledi Shange for News24

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