I learned a lot of things in my journey from one job to another in the past few weeks. I plan to share a few lessons this month — and a few later once time and distance have given me better perspective.
However, the one glaring lesson that stands out to me in all of this is …
2-WEEK NOTICE IS A JOKE!!!
About 3 days into my notice, I mentally checked out. Don’t get me wrong — I did the best and the most I could to make sure the people handling my duties where set up to be as successful as possible. I was on time, worked hard and I stayed late just about every day, including the very last one! But in my mind and my heart, I’d moved on. I accepted I was leaving. I wanted them to accept it, too. I wanted them to wish me well and let me go.
But they couldn’t. Why? Lack of cross-training. No one was prepared immediately to pick up my duties and keep going if I got hit by the proverbial bus.
I have never been a person who hoards duties. In fact, I really can’t stand those people! Duty-hoarders think by not sharing knowledge with others, they make themselves invaluable, irreplaceable and untouchable.
Everyone is replaceable. The work has to keep going and someone has to do it. If you get to keep being the person that does the work, that’s great! But if not, that’s ok, too. You don’t want to stunt your growth, someone else’s growth or the organization’s growth by staying in a position you’ve outgrown. No one wins in that scenario. So when you don’t share what you know so others can learn and rise up, you put damaging limits on everyone.
What makes employees invaluable is their attitude, candor and integrity — NOT just being the person in the room who knows the most stuff. You distinguish yourself by being the most authentic version of yourself that you can be in that organization and role. That is what makes a person untouchable — because no one can “beat” you at being you.
Yet somewhere along the line, I got lazy … or comfortable … or arrogant … or all of the above … and cross-training was no longer a priority. New processes came, others changed — but I didn’t share the knowledge. And when that proverbial bus came along, we were all “hit” by it!
I could blame my boss or my co-workers or the culture of the organization. But I won’t. If there’s no one in your organization who can do your job duties, the real blame lies with you! We have a responsibility to ensure work keeps flowing and that everyone is current on procedures and practices — especially in HR!!
No one will ever do what you do like you do how you do when you make it do what it do … Duh. That’s a given.
But that doesn’t mean you stop cross-training or refresher training or back-up training or having a plan for what happens if you get hit by the proverbial bus. Because whether by our own choice or someone else’s choice, we will all leave a job eventually. In most cases, it shouldn’t take 2-weeks to put an interim plan in place to keep the work flowing smoothly.
2 days? Definitely. 2 hours? Geez, I hope so! But 2 weeks? That’s “2” much.