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Did your staff make you feel guilty?
Old 01-12-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
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Did your staff make you feel guilty?

I know people are afraid of change, but what can I do to ease the fears for my staff?
The ones who know of my plans are in here daily, asking me to reconsider and/or go part-time, so they don't have to deal with a new regime.

It's flattering, in a way - although I suspect it's more of a fear of new leadership rather than a glowing endorsement of me personally.

I need to come up with a plan to help them adapt. Did you have an exit strategy?
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:48 PM   #2
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Remember, George Washington left and the country didn't fall apart. Leaving need not be so dramatic.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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Place the focus back on them.

Remind those who are sucking up asking you to reconsider that you spent considerable time working with them to build their skills and helped them achieve a high level of competence and self-sufficiency (you did, didn't you?). Surely they aren't saying you've failed?
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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I need to come up with a plan to help them adapt. Did you have an exit strategy?
Darwin award for the insecure?

Exit strategy was 2 weeks notice. No ifs ends or buts.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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I do find it amazing how many busy-bodies are telling me that I shouldn't retire, can't retire, etc. What business of theirs is it?
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Exit strategy was 2 weeks notice. No ifs ends or buts.
Yes. My notice was 3 months, but that's just a detail. The important thing is to be firm, friendly, let people know what to expect, and stick to it. They're smarter and more adaptable than you may think.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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I need to come up with a plan to help them adapt. Did you have an exit strategy?
Shame on them for trying to make you feel guilty.

Play them this song and walk out, they will survive, and so will you.

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Old 01-12-2012, 08:41 PM   #9
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Nui, they just need to get over it, and they will. Just make sure that major functions are clearly documented and that the procedure manual is up to date. Tell them this is a great opportunity to apply for your j*b. Give the required notice and leave with a good conscience.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:52 PM   #10
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Nuiloa, you should be flattered - that means they trust and respect you and aren't as confident in the level above you. That said, the more that is "institutionalized" about how your team works, the less they have to fear.

In my case, I gave 6 weeks notice, the job was posted, and one of the team members was selected to take over my management role (with my consultation and concurrence). Although I've seen situations where that was not successful, in this case it worked out just fine for all concerned. I've been in touch occasionally and it is rewarding to know that the team was working so well that a management change was mostly a non-issue since both I and my successor had/has their back - #1 requirement for good managers these days.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:13 PM   #11
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I do find it amazing how many busy-bodies are telling me that I shouldn't retire, can't retire, etc. What business of theirs is it?
+1

"You're too young to retire" Too bad, I want to and I can so I am. Be firm, but fair. Whether they like it or not, for right now, it is all about you.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:14 PM   #12
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Nui, they just need to get over it, and they will. Just make sure that major functions are clearly documented and that the procedure manual is up to date. Tell them this is a great opportunity to apply for your j*b. Give the required notice and leave with a good conscience.
+1 What she said!
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:18 PM   #13
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A perfect plan for those you leave behind is an LBYM lifestyle. After a while, they can leave too.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Nuiloa View Post
I know people are afraid of change, but what can I do to ease the fears for my staff?
The ones who know of my plans are in here daily, asking me to reconsider and/or go part-time, so they don't have to deal with a new regime.

It's flattering, in a way - although I suspect it's more of a fear of new leadership rather than a glowing endorsement of me personally.

I need to come up with a plan to help them adapt. Did you have an exit strategy?
Don't worry, after 2 weeks you're gone they will be saying "Nuiloa who!"
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:02 AM   #15
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I know people are afraid of change, but what can I do to ease the fears for my staff?
The ones who know of my plans are in here daily, asking me to reconsider and/or go part-time, so they don't have to deal with a new regime.

It's flattering, in a way - although I suspect it's more of a fear of new leadership rather than a glowing endorsement of me personally.

I need to come up with a plan to help them adapt. Did you have an exit strategy?
This is where you separate your co-workers from your friends.

Your friends should be happy for your success and wish you well in whatever you do.

The others shouldn't be trying to make you feel guilty for achieving a goal that you've worked hard for.

It could also be Helsinki Syndrome. Or, as it's known in these islands, "Sand Crab Syndrome".

You could make these people feel better by letting them know that you'll tell the new boss exactly how much help and support they've been to you over the years...
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:20 AM   #16
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Nui, they just need to get over it, and they will.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:58 AM   #17
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:08 AM   #18
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It's pretty funny how many organizations that made life hell for their workers "because they can" suddenly change their tune because, well, now they can't. I know just being *eligible* and financially able to retire once he hit 55 made my dad's job a lot more bearable, so he stuck with it for 2+ years until a sweetheart early retirement incentive came around (which included fully employer-paid health insurance until age 65). He got to do much of the part of the job he enjoyed, and his supervisor ran interference to shield him from a lot of the BS that almost drove him out.

It's pretty unfortunate that only those who no longer need the job are the ones who are the most likely to be accommodated; they can't be bullied into being abused by slavedrivers and bureaucratic BS-peddlers because they can walk away at any time.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:46 AM   #19
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From the moment I announced I was leaving, until my last day, I told my staff how the change would be as good for them as it was for me, and reinforced same constantly. I would not let them say 'it wouldn't be the same' without taking the opportunity to convince them it would in fact get better. Some people cried and told me they didn't want me to leave - some were sincere, some were just being polite/kind, and some were just basically averse to change. And you can't always tell which are which either, but that's not important, just realize some are thinking only about themselves.

New challenges are good for people, life and work become boring if the routine is the same day after day, though most people are afraid of change and can't see how beneficial it will be until you're long gone.

After 18 years, no matter how many things I might have done well, we all have blind spots or weaknesses that may never improve. I am sure there were things staff just agreed to disagree with me on, that might have been better.

A new leader should make things better by addressing at least some of the predecessors areas for improvement, and the people left will welcome and get excited about those changes, especially if they're a part of the changes. At the same time, a new leader will have a hard time changing the good things you've been a part of, because the people left will resist those changes. So if the next leader is capable, the deck should be stacked in their favor, towards a net improvement. I actually came right out and told my staff and my successor this many times, to help stack the deck favorably even more, after I was gone. I accomplished more than my predecessor, and my successor should accomplish more than I did, as it should be - and we were all successful in out time.

I think it's a leaders responsibility to put their ego aside, and proactively devote themselves to convincing those left behind that their work life may change some, but will on balance be better. Not pay lip service to it, but really sell them on it - it should be an opportunity to improve their quality of work life! The last thing I wanted when I left was for the people left to not be better for it, after all we acccomplished together. Taking the position 'they'll get over it' or 'just make sure everything is well documented' may be OK among staff (though I don't think so frankly), but not for a leader - it's pretty selfish in fact. I had way more respect for my staff than that...nothing would make me happier than to find they're doing as well or better than when I was part of the team (and I know they are).
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:13 PM   #20
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I don't have a staff at work. One of the other sopranos in the choir at church is trying to talk me out of moving when I retire. It's kind of flattering, I guess.
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