2

My boss's boss just left the company and I asked my boss how this is normally handled in the context of any company. He responded with this explanation:

After the departing manager hands in his/her two week notice, one of three things will happen.

  1. Management will call in his/her team for a meeting, let them know that the manager is leaving, and ask that all loose ends be tied up including getting all required documents, files, and knowledge transferred. I was told this is not ideal as it distracts the team for two weeks and may cause needless disruption in the company as now there is a possible promotion opportunity that may distract even more people.
  2. Management will escort the manager to his/her desk and then off the premises immediately. This is obviously not ideal as there is no time to tie up any loose ends and a replacement must be found much faster (unless the position isn't in high need of being filled)
  3. Management will not discuss the matter with anyone, tying up some specifics but trying not to alert anyone of the pending departure of this manager. After the end of the two weeks, the manager will leave and at that point it will be noticed and announced.

#3 is what happened in the case of my boss's boss and it seemed really odd to me but I'm told this is not uncommon.

Is my boss correct in his explanation and that #3 is not uncommon?

  • This is not the normal, but it is certainly not uncommon. But am I missing something? #2 and #3 seem to contradict each other. Do they leave immediately after resignation, or do they serve the 2 weeks? – Wesley Long Feb 19 '15 at 17:52
  • When pruning shortening my question I must've deleted the phrase that stated these were disjunct situations. I updated the question to reflect this. – Coburn Feb 19 '15 at 17:55
6

Your third described option is not uncommon at all. In the cases I've seen it used, it was used to combat the "rumor mill" regarding discontent at the upper levels. If there is a period of notice and the entire company is aware that someone fairly high up is leaving soon, it sets tongues to wagging idly. Often leadership will choose to "gag" this information until the manager has left so that it can be addressed singularly before rumors become legends and legends become "facts".

4

I've personally been part of all three solutions. They all have their pros and cons you could basically replace manager with any person of influence in a team and the effect is mostly the same.

Typically I've found the following...

1: is typically for people who are rather respected or loved in your team. People whom a sudden departure would not be well received. This tends to be a very rare approach and usually is done only in cases the individual is retiring or otherwise taking a role that is seen as a charity or public service, etc. Or in some cases the position is simply too public or distributed to be able to keep their departure quiet.

2: is for high risk positions or personalities. If you're working something that requires a high level of security expect a swift departure when notice is served. Or if you're perceived as someone who might be a risk to keep around you'll usually be escorted out. You'll be surprised how much damage a person can do if left at their desk for only a few minutes even with someone watching them.

3: Generally this seems to be the most common. You keep things quiet until the last day or two. Then bring everyone together and explain what's happening. Usually a close team will have lunch together to wish the person well, etc.

(#2 is actually pretty important sometimes. We had a rather unique case where a developer was being let go after it became known they were taking a new job. During the meeting that he was terminated we disabled his login and disconnected his computer from the network. He was to be escorted out, but instead bolted for his desk and used a secret secondary login he had made to get on his computer then fired off a script that was intended to completely hose our databases and the locally accessible backups, fortunately since his network was disconnected the script failed. While most people wouldn't do this sort of thing the risk is just too high to keep some people around for the notice period)

  • That #2 example... What do these people have going in their heads sometime? – Thebluefish Feb 19 '15 at 20:54
  • Just some people have an "F you too" mentality and don't think / care about burning bridges. In this case though if he was successful he could potentially face criminal charges and/or a civil suit for damages. AKA burned bridge, getting a felony on your record, and financial ruin... all to cost a company some money while we restored offsite backups as "pay back" for getting fired... immediately before you planned to quit... – RualStorge Feb 19 '15 at 22:19
1

You'll find that many company operate under the philosophy of information is given out on a "need to know" basis. They don't think there is anything you need to know about this, so why bother telling you. You'll find out soon enough.

Depending on how high the manager is in the company, they may not want investors or clients to worry about it, so they delay making it public.

In your case, what difference does it make. Did you want more time to say goodbye?

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