Effective Disengagement as Part of the Organizational Communication Strategy essay

Executive Summary

Effective disengagement is a process that entails leaving the organization without causing too much harm to the organizational processes and communication structure. Thus, it is important that the organization formulates policies that can guide it and its employees through the disengagement process as described by Fredric Jablin. Effective disengagement features four significant steps. The first one is the preannouncement step, according to which it is the task of the organization to identify employees who are on their way out of the organization. The aim of this step is to ensure that the organization is not caught by surprise and mitigate the situation where possible. The second step is the announcement, where the employee is likely to inform the organization of their intentions. Here, the organization should have a policy that ensures the employees announce their intentions early rather than late. As for the exit step, it is the role of the organization to ensure that they find a replacement for the employee who is leaving, communicate to the remaining employees about the leave and assure them about their job security. The last step is ensuring the ability of an organization to empower the new employee and help them to adjust to the organizational structure especially in terms of communication. It may take time depending on the competence of the new employee, and thus it requires a lot of support from the organization and the rest of the employees.

 

Outline

  1. Introduction
  • Each organization is likely to embrace a communication strategy that is functional and effective within the specific organizational contexts within it operates.
  • It is a considerable challenge for companies to cope with losing employees for whatever reason.
  • An absent employee leaves a gap in the organizational flow of communication, thus causing a number of inconveniences that could be very costly.
  • Effective disengagement is a significant part of organizational communication that can help to minimize the negative effects of turnover.       
  1. Defining Disengagement
  • Disengaging from an organization in this context implies preparing to exit the organization for one reason or another.
  • Most organizations spend time and money trying to minimize turnover, but, in the end, employees will leave.
  • It is nearly impossible to maintain a 100% employee retention rate.
  • Most companies suffer significant disconnection issues depending on the position of the employee who has left. 
  1. Types of Disengagement
  • There are two general types of disengagement that are common within the organization namely voluntary and involuntary disengagement.
  • Voluntary disengagement occurs when the employee in question has a reason to leave the organization.
  • Involuntary disengagement, on the other hand, is when the organization is seeking to terminate the services of the employer for one reason or another.  
  1. How Disengagement Affects the Organization
  • First, there will be a challenge in the organizational communication structure.
  • Another significant effect is in the productivity of the remaining employees.
  • Each employee is important in the organizational communication structure, and thus it is likely that any disengagement will have an impact on the rest of the organization, as well.     
  1. Effective Disengagement
  • Fredric Jablin proposes four general steps for disengagement that may be used by an employee when getting out of the organization. They include preannouncement, announcement, exit, and post-exit.
  1. Preannouncement
  • For voluntary disengagement, this step often involves sending subconscious cues like too many complaints about the working conditions in the organization, decreased productivity, increased absenteeism and limited participation in organizational citizenship among other things.
  • When the disengagement is involuntary, the organization may be the one sending cues through the management, and these may include increased complaints on the employee’s productivity and consistent warnings about the employee’s performance reports among other things.
  • For a satisfactory disengagement process, it is important for the organization to pay more attention to the employees and notice any signs that an employee is withdrawing from the organization psychologically.     
  1. Announcement
  • This step is when the decision has already been made, and thus there is a need for communication about the organization’s or the employee’s intentions.
  • In the case of voluntary disengagement, the employee needs to inform the organization in good time depending on their work.
  • Similarly, it is important for the organization to inform the employees promptly of their pending involuntary disengagement.
  • Here, it is only fair for the organization to implement policies that allow for fair practices with respect to termination notices and resignation notifications
  1. Exit
  • When an employee leaves the organization, there often is an ongoing discussion of why they have left depending on whether the exit is voluntary or involuntary.
  • It is important for the organization to open communication about why the employee left and whether or not the remaining employees’ jobs are safe.
  • The exit step within the context of organizational communication mainly focuses on how the organization handles the exit depending on whether it was voluntary or involuntary.
  • When another employee is mistreated as they leave the organization, the remaining employees tend to question their loyalty to that organization.
  1. Post Exit
  • When an employee leaves the organization, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, there is a need to make the necessary adjustments aimed at moving forward.
  • The main idea in this step is to embrace change and learn to work within the new organizational contexts for better performance.
  • In the post-exit step of employee disengagement, it is particularly important for the organization to be more open in terms of communication since there is a need to help the new employee settle in and give their best in terms of performance.
  1. Conclusion and Recommendations
  • Most organizations spend their time trying to prevent employee disengagement, but there are circumstances where it is unavoidable.
  • To limit the negative effect of disengagement on the company, it is important to come up with a comprehensive disengagement policy that will guide the organization and its employees through the required steps for effective disengagement as discussed above.
  • In the first step, the organization should be keen enough to identify employees who are in the preannouncement step based on their dwindling commitment to the organization.
  • For the second step, it is important that the organizational policy stipulates the acceptable time between notification and exit so as to avoid abrupt exits that could be very costly to the organization.
  • As for the exit step, the company needs to be able to communicate to the remaining employees and assure them about their job security.
  • For the post-exit step, the new employee needs to be empowered and supported as they try to fit in to the organizational structure.

Introduction

Organizational communication often means different things within different contexts. Generally, however, it is about individuals within the organization developing a consistent structure of communication that allows them to interact as much as possible to coordinate their activities and ensure a seamless flow of the organizational activities. Each organization is likely to embrace communication strategy that is functional and effective within the specific organizational contexts within which they are operating. It is, however, a considerable challenge for companies to cope with losing employees for whatever reason because an absent employee leaves a gap in the organizational flow of communication, thus causing a number of inconveniences that could be very costly. To avoid such circumstances, organizations have to think about disengagement as a significant part of organizational communication to minimize the negative effects of turnover. Even though organizations have mechanism of balancing labor needs, unplanned disengagement affects companies’ productivity and, in some cases, may impede the business from attaining its strategic objectives. 

Defining Disengagement

Disengaging from an organization in this context implies preparing to exit the organization for one reason or another. There often comes a time in one’s career when they have to leave the place of their employment, voluntarily or otherwise. Most organizations spend time and money trying to minimize turnover. However, in the end, it must be noted that, in one way or another, employees will leave. It is nearly impossible to maintain a 100% employee retention rate. The degree of how prepared an organization is when the employee finally leaves is of particular significance. Most companies suffer significant disconnect issues depending on the position of the employee who has left. Most organizational communication structures take a specific format, and when one individual leaves abruptly, it affects multiple points in the structure.

Types of Disengagement

Two general types of disengagement are common within the organization namely voluntary and involuntary disengagement. Voluntary disengagement occurs when the employee in question has a reason to leave the organization. The reason could be a change of career, a better job offer, retirement or anything provided that the decision is coming from the employee. The involuntary disengagement, on the other hand, is when the organization is seeking to terminate the services of the employer for one reason or another. It could be incompetence, downsizing, a merger, misconduct or anything that is applicable to the organization in question. In either case, it is important to note that the organization is always affected by disengagement considering that the company will be losing a part of the organizational communication structure.

How Disengagement Affects the Organization

An organization is likely to experience a number of challenges when an employee leaves. First, there will be a challenge for the organizational communication structure. Organizational communication strategies are often formulated as a routine that the employees are expected to learn and perfect through practice. It means that even if the company is to replace the employee immediately after they leave, there still will be some form of discordance in the communication system. New employees take time to embrace the organizational routines and communication structures.

Another significant effect is in the productivity of the remaining employees. When one member of staff leaves, the remaining employees are affected depending on their relationship with the individual who is leaving. These remaining employees may even get demoralized within their positions if they are too close or dependent on the employee who is exiting the organization. It means that, without adequate disengagement, the company is likely to lose more than just one employee. The remaining employees will have a compromised productivity as a result of one departure.

Generally, when an employee is disengaging from the organization, it is likely that they will be leaving a gap in the organization’s operations. Thus, depending on the reason of the leave, it is important for the company in question to find effective ways to go through the disengagement process without suffering significantly in terms of performance and organizational structures. Each employee is important in the organizational communication structure, and thus, it is likely that any disengagement will have an impact on the rest of the organization, as well.      

Effective Disengagement

Fredric Jablin proposes four general steps for disengagement that may be used by an employee when getting out of the organization. These steps are applicable by the individual, and organizations need to inculcate the steps in all their employees to ensure that the company is never left exposed. The steps in this case are not only beneficial to the organization but also to the employee who is exiting. They include preannouncement, announcement, exit, and post exit.

Preannouncement

For voluntary disengagement, this step often involves sending subconscious cues. For example, many complaints about the working conditions in the organization, decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and limited participation in organizational citizenship among other things. Employers who are looking for new job opportunities outside the organizations are often easy to spot based on their actions and attitudes within the organization. When the disengagement is involuntary, the organization may be the one sending cues through the management. These include increased complaints on the employee’s productivity and consistent warnings about the employee’s performance reports among other things. From the organizational context, it is the most critical time in the disengagement process. Identifying the disengaging employee early will help in preparing for the exit. Also, the employee at this stage can be motivated to stay in the event that the disengagement is voluntary. For the employee, it is when the motives of the organization can be deviated by improving one’s performance and acting according to the company policies. In either case, the preannouncement step needs to be understood and identified to initiate the right course of action for mitigation or preparation depending on how the situation is bound to end. For a satisfactory disengagement process, it is important for the organization to pay more attention to the employees and notice any signs of an employee’s psychological withdrawing from the organization. Some employees spend years wanting to quit their job, and while they contemplate the move, they cost the organization a lot of money with their substandard performance and dropping productivity owing to the lack of commitment.      

Announcement

This step is when the decision has already been made, and thus there is a need for communication about the organization’s or the employee’s intentions. Communicating intentions in this case is particularly important for both the employee who is leaving and the organization that is being left. In the case of voluntary disengagement, the employee needs to inform the organization in good time depending on their work. Some employees wait until the last minute to submit a disengagement notification thus making it difficult for the company to resume normalcy of operations until they can be replaced. It is important for the organization to come up with a specific policy that requires early notification before the employees can leave. Similarly, it is important for the organization to inform the employees promptly of their pending involuntary disengagement. The announcement step is particularly important in both cases because it allows for effective preparation for departure. Terminating an employee’s work abruptly or leaving the organization on short notice always creates a myriad of problems in terms of coping with the disengagement and moving on from it. Here, it is only fair for the organization to implement policies that allow for fair practices with respect to termination notices and resignation notifications. The involuntarily disengaged employees should have as much time as they need to pack and leave, just as the organization should have enough time to find, hire and train a replacement for the leaving employee.  

Exit

When an employee leaves the organization, there often is an ongoing discussion of why they have left depending on whether the exit is voluntary or involuntary. In most instances, it is important for the organization to clear the air in terms of accurate information. When someone is fired in an organization, the other staff members often become anxious about their fate in the organization, too. It is thus important for the organization to communicate the reasons behind the employee’s leaving and whether or not the remaining employees’ jobs are safe. Speculation and uncertainty often affect the organizational productivity significantly. If the employee is leaving voluntarily and they have had a good tenure in the organization, it is even a good idea to reward them and bid them farewell as they exit the company. This is done to keep the door open for some of the company’s best talents. Sometimes, employees leave because they have found a better offer in another company, but they can still be brought back with the right recruiting strategies. The exit step within the context of organizational communication mainly focuses on how the organization handles the exit depending on whether it was voluntary or involuntary. It is of paramount importance for organizations to maintain a good attitude towards employees who leave the organization. When another employee is mistreated as they leave the organization, the remaining employees tend to question their loyalty to that organization. Also, to maintain the organizational performance, it is important to replace the employee before or during the exit step because a vacant job position always affects the organization’s performance negatively.   

Post Exit

When an employee leaves the organization, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, there is a need to make the necessary adjustments aimed at moving forward. First, the new employer needs to be taken through an induction period so that they can adjust to the organizational communication structure. It means that there is a need for the organization to be accommodating as the new employee adjusts. As for the remaining employees, they may also need some time to get used to the absence of the departed employee while also learning to work with the new employee. The main idea in this step is to embrace change and learn to work within the new organizational contexts for better performance. Usually, when introducing a new employee into the organization, it may be a good idea to hold a proper introduction so that all the employees would know what the new employee will be doing and what to expect in their interactions. It thus follows that communication, in this case, must be effective enough to help in the new employee’s orientation and acceptance into the organization’s workforce and communication structure. It may be up to the new employee to find their way through the communication structure but with adequate guidance from the management and the rest of the employees, there will be fewer inconveniences and mistakes. In the post-exit step of employee disengagement, it is particularly important for the organization to be more open in terms of communication since there is a need to help the new employee settle in and give their best in terms of performance. It is the only way to improve organizational performance and minimize the effects of the disengagement.   

Conclusion and Recommendations

Most organizations spend their time trying to prevent employee disengagement, but there are circumstances where it is unavoidable. It means that a remedy is rather important, although not necessarily more important than the prevention. To limit the negative influence of disengagement, it is important to come up with a comprehensive disengagement policy that will guide the organization and its employees through the required steps. In the first step, the organization should be keen enough to identify employees who are in the preannouncement step based on their dwindling commitment to the organization. It would imply encouraging the management to pay attention to any changes that the employees are exhibiting in their productivity and job satisfaction. For the second step, it is important that the organizational policy stipulates the acceptable time between notification and exit so as to avoid abrupt exits that could be very costly to the organization. As for the exit step, the company needs to be able to communicate to the remaining employees and assure them about their job security. It may involve explaining why the employee is leaving in the first place. As for the post exit step, the new employee needs to be empowered and supported as they try to fit the organizational structure. The organization must thus find a way to accommodate the new employee and allow them to learn through practice while also offering guidance where required. It is with these steps that the organization can effectively avoid disruptions in their operations and their communication structure when employees have to leave for one reason or another.

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Effective Disengagement as Part of the Organizational Communication Strategy essay

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