Tag: resignation

It seems counterintuitive that a mass resignation trend would coincide with a global pandemic but the so-called “Great Resignation” is set to become one of the key economic features, or effects, of Covid-19. Referring to the phenomenon whereby people are voluntarily quitting their jobs en masse, the Great Resignation raises many pertinent questions about the value and nature of work, and deserves to be interrogated as both an economic and social occurrence.

The trend began in the United States in 2021 but quickly spread to many other parts of the world. In South Africa too, there have now been numerous reports of a similar trend emerging as employees re-evaluate their personal and professional priorities in the wake of the pandemic.

Important to note is that this trend appears to be limited to skilled employees – a contingent who typically have the skills, experience and resources that allow them more career options and flexibility around, for example, working hours. Equally significant to note is that more and more experts and commentators are calling it the “great reset” and suggesting the trend be viewed as an opportunity for workers to better align their skills and expertise with their personal goals and values, and for companies to take a more robust and streamlined approach to the skills they hire for.

A Harvard Business Review article on the topic recommends that companies “get on the same page with employees by reconceptualising what it means to be part of their organisation”. Experts from three industries share their views around an effective reset.

Reset with a hybrid workplace model

David Seinker, founder and CEO of serviced office space offering, The Business Exchange, has been championing hybrid work models since long before the pandemic accelerated the adoption of alternative work models. He believes the Great Resignation too is an opportunity for us to reevaluate the nature and nuances of skilled work and to make the necessary adjustments to benefit both employees and employers.

“For some two years now, employees have proven that work can happen independently of a specific location and set working hours, which means that the office is now viewed as a destination rather than the default. Companies can’t afford to mandate employees to simply go back to the office in the traditional 9 to 5 sense without considering how experiences of the physical working environment contribute to employees’ job satisfaction,” he shares.

Seinker explains that hybrid work models offer a best-of-both approach that the post-pandemic employee is likely to insist on and businesses concerned about retaining talent need to at the very least consider more flexible working arrangements.

Reset with a robust working environment, dynamic opportunities

“Talent retention, particularly in the creative industries, has been a challenge for a while now, which is why we’ve been committed to exploring ways to ensure we can offer the best people the best working environment, whether that be on a permanent or freelance basis, where the emphasis is on harnessing their unique skills and expertise in a way that satisfies their professional goals as much as it does our needs,” says Reagen Kok, CEO of Hoorah Digital.

Interestingly, research by the Boston Consulting Group Johannesburg has found that money alone isn’t the only thing that attracts tech and digital talent in Africa, but that the “right workplace culture and values, and the learning and skills training they offer” still plays an important role in employee retention.

Kok shares that, in his experience, highly skilled and talented people are seeking more dynamic opportunities that align with their personal values. “The pandemic forced many of us to deeply reevaluate how we spend our time and we’re taking the steps to ensure there is more alignment between what we want from life and what we’re doing at work. Our role as employers is to step up and meet employees somewhere along this journey, or risk losing them to the companies who are.”

Reset to become more people-focussed, lead with empathy

A reset necessitates the prioritisation of the human before the employee, acknowledging that workers are people before they are talent, skills or resources. And humans thrive in trusting, empathetic environments.

This is something that is high on the agenda for public relations and integrated marketing agency Irvine Partners, who remain committed to building trust and leading with empathy as some of the ways it seeks to mitigate the potential impact of the Great Resignation. Listening to employees’ expectations, whether through formal or informal channels, is key. “Employees want — and deserve — to feel heard, acknowledged and recognised. Operating from the point of view that your employees are your most valuable resource is imperative, and needs to underpin the company culture at large. As an example, this year we hired a senior team member who left a major agency because they refused to even consider remote working. He was spending hours a day in traffic and his employer didn’t see anything wrong with that. Even if they’d met him halfway with a hybrid, he would’ve stayed. They lost a talented and hard-working team member as a result. While all companies have different realities, there is always a middle ground,” says Hayley van der Woude, MD. She adds that it is the leaders in the organisation who need to drive an empathetic focus on people.

Writing in Business Day, Johann van Niekerk, MD of Outsized for Africa, says that those companies who see the great resignation as the great reset and adjust their strategies accordingly, “could increase the range of available skills and therefore the company’s competitiveness and output”.

Absa CEO resigns after less than 18 months

By Dieketseng Maleke for IOL

Banking group Absa’s chief executive is set to step down after just 16 months in the position. The bank subsequently confirmed the news in a SENS announcement.

On Tuesday, BDLive reported that Daniel Mminele was leaving due to differences with executives over the strategic direction of the country’s third-biggest banking group by assets.

According to the publication, people who were familiar with the matter said: “Mminele and Absa had agreed to part ways due to differences with some members of his executive team over changes to the bank’s strategy, which was largely in place when he joined.

“Subsequent discussions with the board failed to resolve the issues leading to the eventual decision to part ways, the people said.”

Attempts to reach Absa for comment were unsuccessful.

 

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.”

Wihan Oosthuizen has resigned as CEO of Office National.

Andre de Beer is acting CEO for Office National Africa until a suitable replacement has been recruited.
An official press release will be issued after Office National’s AGM at the end of January.

“In the meantime, I can assure you, it is business as usual,” says De Beer.

Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday, shortly after parliament began an impeachment process to end his nearly four decades of rule.

The 93-year-old clung on for a week after an army takeover and expulsion from his own ruling Zanu-PF party, which also told him to leave power.

Wild celebrations broke out at a joint sitting of parliament when speaker Jacob Mudenda announced Mugabe’s resignation and suspended the impeachment procedure.

The origin of Mugabe’s sudden downfall lies in rivalry between members of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite over who will succeed him, rather than popular protests against his rule. The army seized power after Mugabe sacked Zanu-PF’s favourite to succeed him, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to smooth a path to the presidency for his wife Grace, known to her critics as “Gucci Grace” for her reputed fondness for luxury shopping.

Mnangagwa, a former security chief known as The Crocodile, is expected to take over as president.

Source: Business Live

Global reseller and solutions provider, Staples, has parted company with its CEO, Ron Sargent, following a “mutual agreement” with the company’s top executive.

The change will come into effect after the company’s annual meeting of shareholders on 14 June, at which time Shira Goodman, Staples’ current president of North American operations will become interim CEO.

At the meeting, Sargent faces a shareholder vote to see if he will continue to serve as a director and non-executive chairman through the company’s 2016 fiscal year ending on January 28, 2017.

The company will appoint a special committee to conduct a search for a permanent replacement, which will consider both internal and external candidates with the support of an executive search firm.

In discussing plans for the interim role, Goodman says, she was confident the company could achieve its objectives through a focus on the mid-market and product by intensifying its focus on “best growth opportunities with mid-market business customers in North America and in key categories beyond office supplies.”

Local implications

Staples Technology Solutions Australia general manager, Karl Sice, says the focus of the new CEO, once appointed, would be on a business restructure that would likely involve selling of the company’s European operations.

“It depends on who the ultimately choose,” he explained. “The board traditionally at times like this has tended to look outside as well as inside.”

“Just after the judge’s decision [to block Staples’ buyout of Office Depot], one of the things that Ron [Sargent] says publicly was the business was looking at a number of strategic options, including what it would do with the European business.

“I am guessing that if you were to get someone in from outside, those types of conversations would become more commonplace.

Sice says that the new chief would most likely have such an endeavour high on their list of priorities after assuming the new role.

He adds that the person would be aware of the organisation’s capacity to make the kind of play that OfficeMax was and would likely consider which lines of business the company would look to grow.

“I see the technology business as one of the highest growth areas,” he adds.

The company has a total of five lines of business beyond office supplies, technology and facilities are two of the largest of those five.

Sice went on to say that this was one of the key growth areas for the company both globally and locally.

“The fact that we have only just started ramping up some of the work that we are doing and some of the workloads that we are now involved in tells you how much market opportunity there is.

Sice echoed Goodman’s sentiment that the mid-market was a key target area for the reseller.

“The middle market was never a major focus for the company way back. Over the last few years it has gone from basically a zero head count to 150 dedicated sales personnel.

Staples total sales headcount in Australia is 650 people across all lines of business, mid-market sales accounts for close to a third of total sales staff locally.

“Quite frankly, we are chasing what should have been probably a focus for the business quite a few years ago.”

By Chris Player for www.arnnet.com.au

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