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Have Employees Ghosted You? You Make The Call

Danielle Paquette of The Washington Post reports that increasing numbers of employers are being "ghosted." This refers to a Millennial dating practice of abruptly cutting off contact with a dating partner, without any warning, explanation, a quick "get lost", or any "good bye" whatsoever and then refusing to return calls, emails, texts, or any other contact attempts.

In the workplace, "ghosting" involves a worker who abruptly does not show up for work and then does not respond to any of the employer's attempts to contact the worker.

The Post article attributes the practice to a labor market in which there are more job openings than workers. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is one employer who told the Post about the increasing practice.

Of course, workplace experts frown on "ghosting" as mean-spirited and unprofessional. It is "a surefire way to burn bridges and tank your reputation," not only with your supervisors, but with your peers who view it as "immature".

Workplace experts recommend employees take the time to talk to a manager and avoid hasty decisions. If the decision is to leave, at least do so in a manner that preserves relationships. Mark Abadi "The job market is so hot right now that workers are 'ghosting' employers without even saying goodbye" businessinsider.com (Dec. 13, 2018).

So, the question for our readers is: have employees ghosted you?

Please take the poll. Here are some opinions of some of the McCalmon editorial staff:

Jack McCalmon, Esq.

I experienced "ghosting" prior to the term being coined. An employee who never complained about anything and was a good employee failed to show up for work. After an hour or two with no phone call or email, we became concerned and called her husband to see if she was okay, fearing a severe injury or illness. Near the end of the day, her husband called and stated that she was okay, but she no longer wanted to work for us. A few weeks later, I ran into the employee while shopping and asked her why she quit. She said she liked working for us, but didn't like working for her particular boss because she was younger than her. A few years later, I was asked to give her a recommendation, and I recounted what had occurred. I don't know if she got the new job or not, but if I were in a position to hire her for the first time or again, I would not hire her based on what she did. If she could do that to an employer, she most likely would not think twice to do it to another employer, client, or customer. The best thing a supervisor can do is if an employee wants to quit it to counsel them on the problems of "burning bridges".

Leslie Zieren, Esq.

The practice is highly disrespectful, whether in a dating or working relationship. In the workplace, it leaves an employer in an awkward position. Did something happen to the employee? Did the employee have a serious accident and is now in a hospital in a coma? Does the employee need an FMLA designation, workers' compensation, or other leave? When will the employee be back? Should I hire a temp in the meantime? How shall I get the employee his or her next paycheck? What do I do with the employee's personal items left on the desk? Will the employee return the key card and the laptop?

You can answer our poll. Please note any comments provided may be shared with others.  

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