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OMC HR Trends - What does separation culture have to do with employer branding?
Not only in the Bundesliga, but also in German companies, the average length of time spent by executives has steadily declined in the last few years. CEOs are on average in office for only three years, and even shorter depending on the industry. In medium-sized companies, inertia is longer, there is often a personal relationship with the owner or majority shareholder.

The rule is: The larger the corporation, the shorter the time there. Conversely, this means that: every company has to process more and more separations for managers. Whether it's the CEO or a department head, a team manager, or an IT expert. The chemistry is no longer right, the ideas are different, people decide - sometimes even by consensus - to terminate their employment contract.

But a lot is done wrong here. Often enough, separations are not accompanied communicatively at all or only weakly. Often employees find out from the industry press that they have lost their boss. Often, the termination is accompanied by malice - this is a cardinal mistake that has an extremely negative impact on the employer brand. This connection is evidently seldom made: separation culture contributes significantly to employer branding.

3 reasons why companies should bid farewell to employees appreciatively and
on equal footing:

1. The effect on the employees who remain with the company

2. The effect on the candidates themselves

3. The effect on business partners

Imagine you are an employee in a medium sized company, you send your boss an email and receive a reply saying this email address no longer exists. You can get the information from the personnel department that this manager no longer works for the company. A few days later, all employees get a one-line email stating that Mr Müller-Meier-Schulze is no longer a member of the Board with immediate effect. Nothing more.

What does that trigger in you?

Correct: Dismayed with how losing an executive was dealt with, lack of understanding of the sparse communication, and feeling like you'll be treated the same way on Day X. Not a nice idea. You don't need to be an extremely value-based employee to condemn such an approach - and it will result in no longer being quite so happy to work for this company. The damage to the loyalty and motivation of the remaining employees is enormous.

In such a situation, would you recommend that your best friend apply to this company if a relevant position were advertised? No! And that's the worst thing that can happen to companies. To lose its reputation amongst its own employees.

Anyone who has been unceremoniously dismissed despite doing nothing wrong like a criminal will be upset with positive statements about the company in the future. Regardless of how many confidentiality clauses the termination agreement has, small comments will still be made - in talks with personnel consultants, with other industry participants, and also with the competition: the disappointment, perhaps even bitterness, will be heard.

And he will probably remain in the industry, there he has expertise, a network and so far, not worked exclusively badly. Because of this a new employer in the industry will have a job for him. But he will not spread positive things about your company.

"Mr Meier can no longer be reached here for the foreseeable future" Aha.

Business partners who are informed about the departure of a long-time contact do not feel taken seriously and this leads to confusion, possibly even anger. This is simply not how you treat each other.

Do people do business with this type of company?

Not if they can help it. Separation culture draws conclusions for the entire company, and in particular the management. Because it is known that the fish rots from the head down.

Even if the topic of recruiting is at the top of the HR-Richter scale because of the demographic development in Germany - the other end of the food chain is also very important for the employer brand. That separations happen is a completely normal process and no one demonises that, so to say. The question is how such a separation is experienced. Are you treating each other fairly, is there an appreciative communication, a targeted new placement offer for long-term employees? An appreciative separation culture pays off for the company in the form of good reviews online, in the form of loyal and motivated employees who appreciate the company, and who recommend the company as an employer. And that is the best thing that can happen to you as an employer.

Claudia Michalski