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I am a team leader of a software development team. There are 2 developers on the team. Before my new Leader position, the two developers and I had to report directly to the IT manager.

I knew that one of the two developers (Senior) is looking for a new job. This developer also told the other developer about his leaving plan.

My question is: Should I have the IT manager be aware of that?

UPDATE: The reason I was wondering whether I should tell my IT manager it, because the Developer recently asked the IT manager for his costly training courses, that only benefits him and his plan. Ofcourse, the IT manager did not know his plan so he approved the costly training courses.

Thank you.

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  • what's GIS? could you use the full name the first time you mention it in your message?
    – foerno
    Aug 24 at 21:13
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    Does this answer your question? Should I tell my boss about my coworker possibly leaving?
    – gnat
    Aug 24 at 21:17
  • @gnat: I guess yes, but my case maybe different because I am the developer's leader.
    – user136430
    Aug 24 at 21:25
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    I really struggle between this dev's plan is "your business" right now or not (as answers say). But as you are the team leader, this dev being gone some day will become your business sooner or later. Just doing nothing might be not the best idea and depending on how he communicates his plans (who knows if your boss also knows?) you could be asked why you didn't act early enough. Who told you about the plans? (you write the coworker "also" go told, so there seems to be someone else?) Can you talk back to the one who told you to convince to the dev about making his decision official?
    – puck
    Aug 26 at 17:44
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    @BSMP what could happen is this: the senior developer hands in their notice. The IT manager is surprised, and asks why he was consulted earlier, maybe the Senior dev was due for a rise or a promotion. What happens if the (ex) employee says " I told A and B about my wanting to leave but nothing more was said.”? What could happen if the IT manager finds out that the OP knew... Is there a way for the OP to avoid this possible and potentially sticky situation?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 27 at 10:16

7 Answers 7

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No, do not tell the IT manager. If you tell the IT manager, he may fire that developer or otherwise remove him. Whether he does or not, you will lose the trust of both developers.

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    Is the 'team lead' role one of management or of technical staff? If a real management role, you have to bring up staffing questions with the IT manager, since that is part of being management. How you do it is another question, and I would do it in a way to not name names but instead to ask about assignments and backup and turnover and ...
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 24 at 21:36
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    @JonCuster It seems like the team consists of 3 people including OP. That almost certainly means OP doesn't have anything to do with staffing and general personal management.
    – quarague
    Aug 25 at 8:30
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One option is simply to ask him if it's okay to share that info. Sometimes people will be okay with this, sometimes they won't, checking their preferences about privacy is never a bad choice.

(Exception: sometimes when you hear something you weren't supposed to, the best option is just to forget you ever heard it.)

In many workplaces, sharing that kind of info with a boss would be unwise. If the boss knows you're planning to leave, they might fire you before you're ready to go, or give you the worst jobs because they don't have to worry about keeping them.

But there are workplaces where it'd be quite normal to let a boss know about this kind of thing, sometimes beneficial for all parties - if the person leaving agrees to disclosing. (I had a bit more written about when and why it can be a good thing, but deleted as it felt a bit tangential to your question.)

If he is not okay with sharing, it may be possible to partially address the issue without disclosing, using the approach raised by Jon Custer in a comment. Instead of this:

Bob is leaving, we need to work out replacement and transition

you can say this:

I'd like to work out some contingency plans in case somebody gets sick etcetera, and we should make sure key stuff is documented so that things don't fall over if we lose a team member. It's 2022, these things happen and we should be ready for them.

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No. If you were looking for a new job and had confided in a co-worker, would you want them telling your manager?

Seriously, no one likes a tattle-tale. That's no different in the work place than it was on the playground as a child.

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    Snitches get stitches as they say… Aug 28 at 9:47
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Everyone is looking for a new job all the time. Managers know that already. The job market is unreliable these days.

You shouldn't worry about others quitting. Give your best in the game.

Looking for a job doesn't always mean they want to leave.

Do you really know the reason why they are looking for a new job? It could be family or health.

When the word comes out that you went behind the senior's back, you will lose the trust of your colleagues. You do not have to run with every little thing to your manager.

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You should absolutely not go running to your manager to announce that your co-worker is searching for a job. Regardless of your compulsion to do so, it's really none of your business. You don't own the company, and you don't lose anything by leaving things as they are. The co-worker hasn't committed any crimes and frankly, you don't know what kind of agreement has been made between the co-worker and the company as relates to this training you've mentioned. Things may truly not be what you think they are, and there's a chance that you're going to out yourself as -- I have sharper words, but I'll save them -- someone that people don't want to deal with. As a matter of fact, you could be terminated for gossiping.

Mind your own business.

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    "you don't know what kind of agreement has been made between the co-worker and the company as relates to this training you've mentioned" - No agreement I am sure. I have been working for the company for 10+ years so I knew that.
    – user136430
    Aug 26 at 19:53
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    You are sure? Lots of people are sure of things that aren’t so.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 28 at 14:45
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How sure are you this person wants to leave? Some people talk about it all the time and never do. Maybe he is that person. You run to your it manager, tell him what you think is happening which is not what is happening, and now think what’s the worst what can happen to anyone involved.

Let’s say your it manager goes to him and says “OP tells me you want to leave, so let’s make that quick: You’re fired”. That’s the worst thing that can happen to your colleague, but what’s the worst that can happen to you? If a colleague knows your big mouth cost him his livelihood?

On the other hand, if it was me in the firing line, what are the chances that I convince your it manager that you are a back stabbing liar and I turn this round on you? I can be very nasty and very convincing when I want to. Like i know that you feel extremely insecure, because me and my colleague are carrying this department and you contribute very little, and I knew that you hated me signing up to these courses and threatened me about it. So worst case it’s your reputation destroyed, and my next job can wait until you get fired.

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People coming and leaving are common activities. If I were you, I would not do anything until I have a new long plan to any developers or until he tries to do something negative to the company or to the team.

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    Your answer was flagged as low quality; "a new long plan to any developers" - what's that supposed to mean?
    – Glorfindel
    Aug 29 at 11:42

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