When your drivers leave – what do you do?

Breaking up is always hard to do.

The person initiating the split has the advantage; they know what’s coming, the other party don’t.

When leaving a job it’s customary to clear your desk and walk out of the door with a box of stuff, photos, cards, stationery you have lined the box with  😉 you have left the building, your work colleagues (and some will stay in touch). Quite often if you are leaving for a role of greater value you will leave on a high.

But life goes on without you, work goes on without you.

When you leave for another reason, you don’t quite skip out of the front door. A dismissal can leave you feeling dejected as you walk through the office with your box and out of the front door, through your head you run many scenarios of how it should have been. In truth you are just feeling a little annoyed that you didn’t see it coming, or that you had not responded to the warning signals soon enough.

What’s left behind?

What’s left behind has to continue, and steps are taken to ensure that work can continue. If you have left, is that something you should be bothered about? Sometimes people make decisions and don’t think about the impact of their decision on their environment.

When I worked in the City, I had an employee resign on me. The day she left, at her finishing time her PC network access was removed. She flew into a rage, how dare we remove her PC access, who did we think we were? She was going to sue us, how dare we ruin her day. How dare we? One week 4 people resigned and the same thing happened to them and there wasn’t a word.

So why did this person over react?

I have no idea to be honest, it was standard procedure. She had seen it happen in the office before, she understood the procedures and why it was done but she thought for some reason she was different, that she would be treated differently. When you have a process in place you don’t discriminate, you follow the process for everyone, even when that someone is the perfect employee.

We employ drivers and our drivers are treated identically, they know if they resign we take the van keys back off of them. In fact they finish on the spot and their notice paid out depending on their contract. It means our vans don’t get wrecked, sugar put in the fuel tanks or a pile of speeding fines accrued.

This isn’t unique to my business, places where I have worked it’s very common. What’s not common is to see people resign and then accuse you of all sorts when you protect your business.

In fact I wonder how they are going to run their business.

I have a colleague who treats his drivers like mates, he lets them see the books, do the banking and then he frequently moans when they set up competing businesses and take his customers. He has no process in place and he likes to keep things open and transparent and he is often firefighting to keep his customers. I have said to him over the years why does he allow this, and he says he’s a nice person and he trusts his drivers not to stitch him up.

Mike Trup has a great line, he says he trusts people but he still locks his front door.

I liken the scenarios with the employees to trusting them but still locking your front door. There’s nothing wrong with that, in our case it has saved many a van. In my friends case it gives us something to talk about over beer. Neither one of us will change.

If you are leaving remember that someone will be locking the door behind you. You wouldn’t leave your door open when you leave your property why expect someone else to?

How do you react when you leave?


PS remember your digital assets need returning. I have had to set up new twitter accounts and other social media tools as I was sloppy and trusted the person to return or rename them. They did neither but they did spend 30 minutes telling what a nice person they were and how I had them all wrong. They never bothered to look at it from my point of view. Lesson learned – you still can’t trust anyone.

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