In Episode 19 of Happywork TV, I present the next commitment in my work code of conduct called “The Happywork Agreement.”
This one is made by employees to their employers. It goes like this: “If I quit and give two weeks notice, I won’t quit on my employer. Keep in mind that I’m leaving for a reason, and may be eagerly anticipating my last day. So it’s possible my effort won’t be 100%. But I will try.”
I like this part of The Happywork Agreement because it doesn’t suck up to one side or the other with the simple answer. An employee will typically say, “F it, I quit, why should I care how my final two weeks go?” A hard-nosed, traditional-sounding employer might say, “Hey, if I’m paying you, put your nose down in it and do your job. Oh, and those projects you had committed to finish? Are they gonna get done?” And so on.
Notice there how BOTH SIDES ARE BEING UNREASONABLE. And that’s one of the main reasons human beings disagree and bicker and fight and argue!
Any demanding employer in the employee’s shoes – truly in their shoes, quitting a job – would act in much the same way as the employee. In fact, when they quit their VP and EVP jobs, they’re not always giving 100%. Sometimes they’re leaving without two weeks notice, and they’re taking company secrets with them. But knowing this (or maybe conveniently ignoring it), they still can’t forgive their employees for quitting. They take it personally, like it’s a girlfriend breaking up with them, and they hate how you can’t give 150% effort up until the last day. On the other side, how many times have you heard this from an employee who’s submitted her two weeks notice: “What are they gonna do? Fire me?” Ha! How lazy can you possibly be! Your employer doesn’t deserve your half-ass, slovenly effort. Get in there and show them how you carry yourself as a human being. Try!
The gulf between employer and employee frustrated me so much that I wrote a book about it! And this episode was about one of those intractable differences that keep human beings at odds. I hope we can change that.
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