Quitting without notice is depicted as a deadly sin in the workplace. Hiring managers don’t realize (or don’t care) that the same reasons they would fire an employee are the same reasons an employee would quit without notice.
Complaints are Warnings About Your Performance
You find an employee is making mistakes and under-performing. You meet with them several times to address these mistakes. Over three months, the mistakes have not been corrected, and performance is still lacking. You then let the employee go.
Now picture this:
Your employee expresses a complaint that a certain coworker is verbally abusive and they find it exceedingly difficult to communicate and work with that coworker. You nod your head that you’ll “look into it.”
Weeks and months go by and the coworker is still verbally abusive, and the employee is still afraid to communicate or work with the coworker. The employee quits, without giving you even a standard two-week notice.
This is not a failure on the employee, but a failure on the manager.
The manager deserves to have the employee quit without notice.
#1 Loss of Trust, Faith, and Confidence
You as the manager are at the helm of ensuring that resources are managed. That’s your responsibility, which comes with privileges that must be exercised properly.
One of those privileges is making decisions. Decisions that affect the performance and results of your organization, department, and employees.
Employees who quit without notice are NOT making a mistake, when management has failed to fulfill their responsibility.
- Friends end friendships without notice because a loss of trust, faith, and confidence.
- Couples end relationships, including through divorce, because a loss of trust, faith, and confidence.
- Customers stop buying from companies, because a loss of trust, faith, and confidence.
Why is it any different when an employee quits without notice?
It’s not. It’s for the same reasons.
#2 You Didn’t Listen to the Warning Signs
Employees hope that managers will address the things they cannot. This is called trust. They place that trust in the manager by expressing concerns and complaints.
Employees give tons of notice in the form of complaints about working conditions, coworkers, being overwhelmed, unfair policies, practices, and borderline unethical behavior.
Employees give weeks, months, sometimes years of notice. You chalk it up to that’s just how things are.
Nothing is just the way things are, to the point that you can’t do something about it. Especially when, as a manager, you can make decisions to change things.
Yet, even knowing it’s your responsibility, you still think you deserve a standard two-week notice?
No, you didn’t heed the warning signs, so you don’t deserve a two-week notice.
Furthermore, you have lost your privilege to speak poorly of former employees who do quit without notice.
#3 You Didn’t Hold Yourself Responsible
Managers need managers, and even owners need someone to manage them. The purpose of managing is to ensure employees fulfill responsibilities given to them.
If an employee quits without notice, there’s a great possibility it was because you failed to hold yourself responsible to ensure they could continue to be responsible.
An effective manager would make it possible for employees to fulfill their duties, not just tell them to.
A parent can tell their child to clean their room, but if that parent leaves the toys on the floor, too, the kid won’t trust the parent’s decisions.
An employee who isn’t responsible, even though they have the means to be, should rightly be held accountable. So, too, should the managers.
You deserve to have employees quit without notice when you are not holding yourself responsible.
Why I’ve Quit Without Notice
I find the above three reasons are why I’ve quit without notice. Summarized, it means a failure of management.
Sometimes problems are out of a manager’s control.
At a recent position, I could no longer accept certain behaviors of other people in the organization. Many of them were personal attacks against me, the department I worked in, and people I care for.
My direct supervisor was superb – one of the best managers I’ve ever had. I wanted to give him a two-week notice, but I could not. It would have meant two-weeks of politics, finger-pointing, and in some toxic individuals, a heightened sense of arrogance, conceit, and ego.
I did leave my supervisor a letter, stating that I also want to pursue a different career path. I didn’t let him know the personal reasons, but I am sure he would understand, and could guess it was part of why I quit.
I just can’t stomach working for people who don’t care to address interpersonal ethical problems. Maybe these problems exist everywhere, and maybe most people are willing to put up with it. I am not.
Quitting without notice is no problem to me. I hold myself to a higher standard, even if, at times, that standard flies smack in the face of conventional wisdom.