October 24, 2012
By Mitch Schnurman
When I gave two weeks’ notice at my previous job, the boss instead gave me a few hours to talk with friends and get out. It was nothing personal, just business, and the way that many companies deal with departing employees.
In contrast, consider American Airlines’ long goodbye. It’s eliminating 10,000 jobs through buyouts and layoffs, and most of the people in those jobs will stay on at least four months — some up to a year. American needs time to make a transition to outside contractors and new work rules.
How to motivate thousands of short-timers? That’s difficult anywhere, especially in American’s toxic workplace, where labor and management have been clashing for decades....
American said it plans to offer career counseling, advice on benefits and retirement, and similar services to departing employees. Done right, that helps reduce the hassles of converting benefits and engenders some good will, said Don Vanderwalle, chair of the management and organizations department at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.
“The more support they get with the exit, the more productive they’re likely to be,” said Vanderwalle....