Welcoming ex-workers

Welcoming ex-workers if they want to return

What to do when someone quits your organisation and wants to come back? Now, this is a dilemma for the decision-maker.

Changing jobs frequently is a very common occurrence in today’s corporate world. Gone are the days when a person retired from the same organisation which gave him his first salary.

The reasons for people to quit are many, but the most important reason is that they do not find growth possibilities, or that their immediate boss is not effective enough to retain or inspire them further.

But what if we face the exact opposite: When someone quits the organisation and wants to come back? Now, this is a dilemma for the decision-maker.

Chanakya guides us on what to do: “One deserting because of the master’s fault and returning because of his virtue, (or) deserting because of the enemy’s virtue and returning because of his fault, is one deserting and returning on good grounds, fit to be made peace with.” (7.6.24).

So you need to get a total perspective: Why did the person quit? Why has this person come back? And what are the benefits or loss that can happen?

Let’s look at these parameters in detail:

Why did the person quit?

Be honest: Was it your fault as a leader that he left? In that case, he is worthy of a return if you have learnt your lesson and are already working on improving your leadership skills.

Was it in a fit of anger that you fired the person? Or was it some miscommunication? Did the person quit because he found something good in the new employer? In that case, it is a leadership fault, because you did not have that ‘quality’ that your competitor has.

In both cases, the person should be welcomed back.

Was the person right?

There are issues and situations that were not under the control of the person quitting. For example, at that time, he required a pay scale (as a necessity) which you could not provide.

Or did the person realise that it was his mistake to quit as your organisation was really better and genuinely wants to come back and work productively? In this case too, he could be welcomed back.

The person’s virtues

The final checkpoint! What is the value-addition the person brings? Probably, the person has a skill or an art that only he possesses, and is already in demand in the industry as he is really ‘good’ at the work he does. Even in this case, the person can be welcomed back.

Whether you do all these calculations or not, it’s finally your gut feeling that matters. You have to make a decision and look ahead. Looking back at the past is good, but moving ahead is more important.




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