In a small company of about 30 or so people, anytime someone gives their two-week notice to the boss, the boss insists that the resigning individual keep it private until the week before leaving. This doesn't just include senior staff but project managers, lead developers, and essentially every other position of management that would likely appreciate as much time as possible to prepare and adjust.

  1. Is this common practice?
  2. If so, what are some reason(s) behind this request?
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    @TheMuffinMan That makes sense, but shouldn't management at least be made aware? Surely a project manager and/or lead developer is less likely to partake in drama but instead could utilize the time to prepare. – 8protons May 31 '17 at 18:47
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    @8protons Sorry, I missed the part about leaving project managers etc in the dark. I would agree it is in the boss's best interest to notify other management about it. – The Muffin Man May 31 '17 at 18:48

Is this common practice?

I've personally seen it happen. In fact, I've seen cases where the resignation was kept secret until the individual was gone from the company entirely.

I wouldn't say it was common (and it's really hard to keep secrets). But it happens.

(Secrecy seems silly to me.)

If so, what are some reason(s) behind this request?

Some companies feel that any disruption is minimized by reducing the number of days when people know someone is leaving.

Sometimes the individual doesn't want others to know for personal reasons.

If you want to know why it happens in your company, you'll have to ask.

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    another reason: if mutually-friendly, work out the notice, happy resignations are announced in advance, but firings and "oh really? well off you go then we will be needing your badge" resignations are announced after the last day, then it's not possible to support fictions like "spending more time with family" in announcing that sadly, X has chosen to leave and will be sorely missed etc. The same notice for everyone should in theory reduce gossip around surprisingly short notice periods. – Kate Gregory May 31 '17 at 20:12
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    Another possible reason is that announcing a resignation might cause other employees to ask questions the company isn't ready to answer yet. The company might want a few days to work out an answer. – DJClayworth May 31 '17 at 23:08
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    I've seen this is mostly a fear thing. Afraid of mass exodus in some cases and spreading fear of project losses. The issue is though that eventually this happens regardless as the people actually leave and then others start wondering, so it's literally just a fear thing and completely useless and counter productive in almost every situation I have seen. Having more knowledge share time is so much more important than a temporary 1 week reprieve in fearful behavior. – mutt Jun 1 '17 at 2:23

Is this common practice?

I do not think so. I have worked in US as well as Indian companies and never heard of manager making that request. Every place I worked (and resigned), I was free to let people know about my plans whenever I am comfortable. My last manager asked me to wait until an official announcement is made to my team which was within short period of resignation. (He was also hoping that he could change my mind in the meantime!)

If so, what are some reason(s) behind this request?

I think it is counter productive not to tell in advance because others will plan something assuming your presence. So while disruption of work could be one reason as other have pointed, I think it will serve the purpose in exactly opposite way.

I think this largely is coming from insecurity of the company. They may be afraid that during your notice period, you will get a chance to talk about reasons for your leaving and others will identify themselves with those reasons and get ideas!! Or you will 'expose' a big flaw in the company which made you unhappy and then (mis)lead others on the same path.

I do not think a healthy and professional working atmosphere will allow this.

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