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Why notice period should not be for long?

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Is there an ideal notice period? Or a good notice period?

The answer is No!

To ease the transition of the absence of an employee, a notice period is kept. It started from week’s time and currently is in months. Companies especially the Service sector hugely rely on human resources. The majority of the revenues are driven by the investment done on humans who work on the services offered by the company. Be it innovative or a conventional one, the effort of employees majorly translates into revenues. So, the presence or absence of valuable employees makes a big difference in the company’s growth.

But, just like nothing is permanent, no employee stays forever in the company. Employees shift from one company to another one for various reasons – both personal and professional. As the opportunity cost of the existing employee is huge, companies then try to retain these employees. The notice period is very helpful in such cases.

Notice period helps companies for a smooth transition of work and knowledge and sometimes, to convince a valuable employee to revert resignation, of course, by fulfilling his demands. A brief gap between resignation and the last day will let the employee calm down and think more constructively, which might improve the relationship between the dissatisfied employee and the company.

The notice period even though helps in retaining valuable employees; the notice period should not be for too long for the following reasons.

  • With the advent of automation systems and SOPs, companies have adapted to best management practices. So, knowledge sharing has become relatively easy.

  • Many companies have their own strategies to create back up and create succession planning.

This may not be possible for start-ups, but MNCs and well -established companies need to take measures and avoid too much dependency on anyone. In addition to this, the notice period for a longer duration creates problems for the employees in finding new opportunities. This problem of employees, even though enable employees to stay in the company for long, decreases the rapport between the employer and employees. As a result, it becomes counter-productive in many ways:

a) Decreased Productivity- Many employees are not productive during the notice period. The majority of them disturb others too. In fact, even the seniors cannot get the work done from them, impacting the deadlines.

b) Impact on the work environment- The dissatisfied employees spread more negativity in the team, which effect the team balance and their motivation levels;

New employees who are new to the system can be affected greatly by the aggressive or unprofessional behaviour of the dissatisfied employees

c) Work Attitude- The employees on the notice period may not proactively work for effective knowledge transfer. In fact, even a pinch of negativity or feedback may make them think opposite to the positive.

More the duration of the notice period, more the frustration of already dissatisfied employees as it impacts their future prospects, new assignments. As a result, the negativity becomes multi-fold.

Further, imagine what can happen if multiple exiting employees are there in a team at the same time.

Overall, for the benefits of the notice period to overweigh the detrimental effects, make sure you are not prolonging it more than your requirement.

Apart from this, a few companies keep notice period for a longer duration and take decisions themselves i.e whether to relieve an employee early or not, depending on the nature of exiting employees. If the exiting employee works hard even during the notice period, you keep them for the entire duration of the notice period (irrespective of the problems the employees have), else, relieve them early.

But Beware: In such case, are we indicating the exiting employee to behave badly, so that they can be relieved faster?

To avoid these issues, make sure the notice period is not too long. If the companies keep long durations as notice period, make sure you understand the requirements of exiting employees and their perspectives. Relieving them based on requirements of them also brings in more credibility and lets the existing employees get more confidence in the companies’ policies and work with enthusiasm.

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