Marketing Eye

Dumb things that people do when they leave an organisation

After three and a half years, a person who only had been promoted to marketing manager in the past year in Atlanta, had decided to move on. I was relieved. She had asked to play a more senior role in the organization and given that we are all for ensuring that people reach their full potential and achieve their goals, we set some key milestones and gave her the reigns.

The problem is that when we did that, she stopped working. I am not sure as to whether it was because she wasn't capable of stepping up, or afraid of her potential, but either way, she loaded the team with work, but did very little herself. As far as the checklist was concerned, she had achieved none of the list. 

Have the talk

I knew I had to have the talk. She had to either step back to being a Marketing Executive and do billable hours or leave with my blessing. Sometimes you have to learn from someone else or be in another environment to learn new things and after three and a half years, I thought that it would be great for her.

In the past few months, she has been blessed with:

  • Extended leave periods to travel overseas and interstate when she wanted to. We have an unlimited leave entitlement to those who have been with us for more than one year.
  • A birthday celebration which included her receiving a Tiffany's necklace from the company. The year before, a designer handbag.
  • Taken to the top restaurant in Atlanta for dinner.
  • She organized a trip to New York as she wanted to set up meetings with clients and prospects for me. I arrived there, and there was only one meeting for a 1.5 day trip and overnight stay. Not a good use of my time, but I thought a good lesson for her to learn. If you want to travel with work, you need to organize meetings and make the time worthwhile. In New York, we put her up in one of the best hotels to ensure that she had the best time possible, took her to two of the top 20 restaurants in New York and in general treated her impeccably well.
  • She clearly thought it was a holiday, because at 10am she wasn't ready for work. Even though she hadn't organized meetings, it was a work day and there was lots to go through.
  • She rocked up to work in leisure wear or something you would wear backpacking. To put it in perspective, we are a professional services firm, so this type of attire is not professional.
  • She ordered shots in front of a client, which of course I did not have and nor did the client, and at $42 per drink on the company's expense, it was quite embarrassing to watch her skull these drinks in front of our client.

New York, New York

While we were in New York I took the time to go through what needed to be done if she wanted to step up. She said she was totally on-board. I also addressed the issue of how to dress for work and meetings and my expectations as far as that was concerned. 

At this point in time, she had hired for the marketing firm a full time person who worked solely on her LinkedIn account increasing her connections and sending direct messages to prospective clients and overall increasing her profile for her new position. I'm not talking about someone on $40k per year here either!

Weeks had passed and I noticed from afar that the billable hours sat at perhaps 1 to 2 hours per day, yet none of the things we had listed had been accomplished. The writing was on the wall, she needed to move on.

So, I thought to myself, I will ring her up and say to put a hold on everything, have some fun for a few weeks and we will address everything when I returned.

Resigned to move on

I landed in the US last week and she sent through her resignation letter. I was relieved. She had outgrown our environment and needed to explore other environments. I was genuinely happy for her... except, she gave two weeks notice. In her 'key man role' she is required and is well aware of the fact that she needed to give two months. It's something that was in writing, but also it was something that she knew well and was always critical of others who didn't do the right thing.

Of course, things changed. She decided that conveniently she didn't believe that she had to give two months notice, which allows for a new person to be trained on the clients in which the company looks after and allows for the entire recruitment process.

I said, "let's not have this as a conflict between her and I, and let's pass this onto attorneys to deal with and have a pleasant time while I am there (sic)."

Handover's are essential

I arrive in the office on Monday and ask for more detailed handover notes. She refuses. She says, "you have my computer". We are in consulting so it is more about the conversations we have with our clients and the indepth knowledge that we have of their businesses that counts. I said to her, "if this is the only thing you do, it's what needs to be done." She flatly refused, caused an argument and I had to ask her to leave. This type of disruption in the office is unnecessary and it was evident that this was part of her strategy.

This type of entitlement is what gives millennials a bad name. She has always been one of the first people to say that millennials do the wrong thing, and yet, she engineered this situation knowing full well that she was starting a new role which came about through her LinkedIn profile that we had a full time person managing in a matter of days.

Oh, Millennials

Very few millennials have references from their actual bosses. They always seem to be from their peers.

She would have had one from me because she is a confident marketer at the mid level range. She isn't polished and going somewhere else, she may be able to learn how to be more articulate in how she communicates and more polished as a marketer. With our flat organizational structure that is very hard to achieve, as it is very much a self-managed environment.

I think this move is good for her, but the way she went about it was wrong. Now that she is aware that attorney's will be managing the process, she has gone online to write bad reviews. The spite that someone shows particularly given the generosity and the great pay that she received as well as the $2000 bonus she received only a month earlier, is disappointing. However, it brings me back to something that I have always thought... how you are brought up is how you act out when things don't go your way.

Is it parents or is it children that are at fault? What do you think?


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