A sense of belonging. That creates a strong employer brand.

In my last articles about separation culture and management i have considered the positive and negative impacts on the employer brand and finally, the loss/gain for a organisation by not carrying out a smooth and valuable process. This time i would like to focus more on the perception of the employee who decided to quit is job for a new opportunity.  I have read a fabulous article on the Havard Business Review „How to leave a job you love“ recommended by a lovely friend and ex-colleague. While reading through this article; i heard my inner voice saying YES…i felt like this as I quit my job that i loved. So I really want to share my insights with you. Some of you might had a similar experience.

Already Sigmund Freud said that to live a good life we need to be able to love and work. (Die beiden Eckpfeiler des Glücks: Liebe und Arbeit.) And in my opinion, it is true. At least in one of the pillar you have to be happy and satisfied in order to feel loved and well in live.

Looking at the main topics on a strategy roadmap of 2021/2022 within organisations, the majority has understood that respect, security or material reward does not longer work as an employer value proposition. These promises do not attract and retain employees anymore. People want passion, fulfillment, a simple meaning for going to work every day. A purpose or even a romance? 😊 Employer branding campaigns promise these feeling of belonging to a community. The identifaction process starts as soon as you read the job ads or the career webpages. That’s what talented employer brand managers do. Transmitting emotion, values and promises in every touch point of the employee life cycle, the moment of truth.

„If my organization is open, rigorous, and entrepreneurial, I must be too. When our organization shines, then, we feel as if we shine as well. When it struggles, we struggle.“ That’s the romance with your job. Isn’t that a nice feeling, a sense of belonging, identification? The feelings change as soon as you are confronted with a dysfunctional romance. As soon as you love your job and you recognize your job doesn’t love you back. Or values, culture, purpose – identification has broken. But you love what you do, and who you have become, in that job. I decided to leave the job i loved because i felt no identification anymore. Different vision, values and purpose. I knew I won’t be happy anymore. Love changes into another feeling for work. So although I dicided to leave my job, my team, people i loved to work with, an organization, it is not done quick and easy. And we should not try to make it so. Unfortunately, other people force us to do so. And that’s definitely not an appreciated way of separation management (see my article 1 and article 2).

Organisations should give the leavers the time to say goodbye to people and spaces, even to things. 

Advice for leavers:

  • Acknowledge the last time you do a task
  • Attend the virtual meeting, or look out a certain window. If there is an event, make it full of stories. Your colleagues want to congratulate you or even regret your leave. They want to say officially goodbye. 
  • People and organisations have also learn to leave jobs and people. 
  • Tell the colleagues you want to keep in your working life that your relationship goes on altough you are not part oft he system anymore. 

And a nice phrase of the HBR article that is now branded in my mind and i will use for my next employer branding session:

„You might have chosen to leave the organisation, but you can still keep the habits and values that you learned there. That is the beauty of identification — you do not have to give it back like your laptop and badge. Many people cherish their time at organizations that they left long ago, and remain loyal to them, because those places helped them discover who they were, what they could do, and where they could go next.“ 

To sum up, it is always worth to reflect your love to your job and your current identification. Pay your time first is my principle in order to have a happy working life 😊

I will keep on writing about separation culture and management because I still meet people who experience an extremely bad offboarding in their organisation. My goal is to change this as long as i am in the position as an employer brand manager and advocate. That's my drive. So stay patient 'cause next time you will read some bad practices of separation management.