Leave on good terms.
Whatever circumstances you are going through and no matter how you are treated on the job, I believe employees should be very professional when they decide to leave their employment. In my opinion, it is unprofessional and unethical to quit a job immediately without giving your employer any notice.
This is an issue that is faced in both the public and private sectors. It is also very common in schools. Even though a school term may end in June or July, in most schools, teachers are paid up to the end of August and then a new term commences in September. In this case, teachers know very well that they do not plan to return to the school, but they wait until their last payday in August to advise their employer of their resignation and so when school starts in September, that school is without teachers. Likewise, when an employee in another industry resigns immediately, that employer will be in a challenging position if no one else is equipped to do the job that the employee was doing.
I think it is very unfair and selfish of individuals to quit a job immediately without notice. Some may argue that employers terminate employees immediately. Well, there are circumstances in which an employer has the right to terminate an employee immediately. Normally these circumstances are mentioned in the employment contract and in accordance with the law of the country. Therefore, this is different from an employee resigning immediately without notice.
Employees, please give notice.
Most employment contracts require employees to give notice, normally for two weeks. If an employee quits without giving notice, that is a breach of the contract. Do you think it is right especially when you know there is no one else in the organization to do your role? Put yourself in the employer’s position. If you were an employer, would you want your employee to do that to you. Of course not. Then you should not do the same to others. Be upfront and frank with your employer, give them notice, so that the employer will have adequate time to find a replacement. Now imagine, a school opens, and the teacher is expected to be there because they did not indicate or resigned at the end of the school year. Think about those students being without a teacher.
I know one thing, that one day you will need a reference and do you think your employer will provide you with a good reference. Even if you don’t need a reference, I believe one day the same thing you did to some, someone else will do it to you.
Now there are situations such as a health crisis that may force an employee to resign immediately without notice. This is an exception and is understandable as it is beyond the control of the employee.
What should the employer do?
The employer must ensure that all employees have a contract and if an employee resigns without notice per the contract, that employer should take legal action and set an example to other employees.
I think when an employer recruits an employee who is currently working with another employer, somehow, that employer needs to find a way to let that existing employer know so at least the employer is aware and would not be surprised. Unfortunately, some employers do not even do a reference check with the existing employers, and they take the risks in hiring these employees. I believe all employers should do a reference check with the most recent employer. Even if you do not tell the employer, at the least the existing employer will have an idea that his employee is looking for a job.
Employers also need to make sure that their employees are well rounded and verse in areas of the organization. I encourage employees to rotate their staff in different roles. This will be very helpful to the organization, especially when an employee quits suddenly.
Now when it comes to a school, there should be a pool of substitute teachers so when a teacher resigns suddenly, they should be able to fil that space. Alternatively, if the school can afford it, the school may consider hiring assistants and use them in the event a teacher resigns immediately. Another option is to engage with those teachers that have retired and see if they are interested in returning to the classrooms.
Finally, employers, please be respectful to your employees. Sometimes, the issue is you and not the employees.
I know sometimes, employers do not treat their employees well and so employees get frustrated and take revenge by quitting without notice. However, that is not professional, and you should give the appropriate notice. In case of the schools, most schools that pay you up until August, expect the teachers to return in September. I believe that is why schools have made a tough decision and only pay their teachers up until the end of the school term. Personally, I don’t support this, especially given the salaries that teachers get paid, but I do understand the rationale behind it.
Employees just need to be honest with their employers. Leave on good terms. I know of many cases where employees return to their former jobs. Imagine if they had left without notice. Do you think that employer would take them back. More than likely not.