Two Weeks Notice Not Enough?
Alison Green | Ask A Manager
August 24, 2010
(There are other ways of incentivizing longer notice periods too — such as by linking a higher vacation time pay-out to a certain amount of notice — but it doesn’t sound like that’s the case here.)
The best option for managers who want more than two weeks notice is to do what I’ve always tried to do: create an environment where employees know they can safely alert me to their plans to leave soon, without having to worry about being badgered or pushed out early. As a result of doing this, I’ve rarely had employees give only two weeks notice; in fact, I’ve had employees give as much as 10 months notice at times. But it’s solely because I’ve treated them and other people giving longer notice periods well. Otherwise I’d have no right to expect it.
The fact is, while your managers would like you give them more time than the two-week standard, they’ve given up any right to expect it, by behaving like asses while you worked for them. And there’s no need for you to stress over that; this situation is of their own making, and their bad reaction reflects poorly on them, not on you.
Stay professional, reiterate that you’ve enjoyed your time there but will be moving on, emphasize what you’re planning to do to make a smooth transition, and stick to your plans.
Update on the Story
Yesterday I printed a letter from someone whose boss was angry that she had only given two weeks notice and was pushing her to give at least a month. Because her boss had always been a jerk, I advised her that she should hold firm and stick to her original plan. She’s now written back with this update:
Thanks so much for answering my question yesterday. Your advice and that of the commenters was invaluable. I have a follow up question, though, that I’d be very grateful to get your perspective on.
So, after I said I couldn’t extend my notice past two weeks, the situation has now gotten to the point where I would label it abusive. Just this morning, my actions — which I’ve done my absolute best to keep courteous and professional — have been called “unprofessional,” “a betrayal,” and “an insult.” My manager sat me down and berated me and even insulted me personally for 15 minutes, then copied me on a very nasty email to the head of the office and another manager here. I was also copied on the reply from the other manager, who called my actions “odd” and “hostile.”
I have done nothing more than give my two weeks notice — which at this company is seen as a betrayal apparently — but that is all I have done. I’m now contemplating leaving even earlier though, as the work environment has really gotten hostile.
I am not due to get my final paycheck until the end of the month (we are paid monthly, so if I leave today, I still have 19 days pay owed to me). What is the likelihood that I would receive this paycheck at all if I left today? I’d like to walk out today, especially if it gets worse, but I need that final paycheck to tide me over until my new job starts in September. For those of you with experience in this, do you think they’d withhold that check at this point? I can’t really afford a legal battle, so if that’s a possibility, I just have to stick this out until I have it in hand…