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Are you being ghosted at work?

Ghosting is breaking off a relationship by stopping all communication and contact with the other person without any apparent warning, as well as ignoring any attempts to communicate.

I see this at the work place all the time, employees who are engaged, communicating, involved and productive. Then something happens. Many times employers do not know what it was that triggered the ghosting. Overnight the employee is not communicating, going through the motions and most assuredly looking for another job. Then they leave and their exit interview says they found more money.

The vast majority of exit interviews are not true and full of convenient excuses

How many times is your first knowledge of a problem:

  1. Their resignation letter
  2. The employees’ productivity drops dramatically
  3. Communication stops abruptly

The employees, who are around the ghosting employee, know the issue. Seldom will they communicate the issue to management. They feel if they do they will be betraying their friend. The ghosting employee and their friends in some cases, where there is an abundance of trust, will tell management or their surrogates what is going on. This will always be done “off the record”. The key to success is TRUST.

In every organization in which I was the Chief HR Officer, my department was constantly in touch with all the employees on an unofficial level. The employees knew they could tell HR anything and do it on an anonymous basis. We were more interested in knowing the root cause(s) of the issue and were less concerned about the personalities.  

It is not important which employee said something or why. The issue must be - is it true?

We were always looking for consistent stories about what was going on in the overall organization or on a departmental basis. The focus was always on determining the root causes and what needed to be done to correct the issues. Too many times I have seen organizations get side tracked into reviewing who said what about who and their motivations. Discovering the truth and what needs to be done about it, should be the only focus.

Do you need help in stopping your employees from ghosting you?