In Myanmar the name of the game is saving face. Sometimes that means not seeing each others face. It can be a mystery what people are thinking when they quit a job. In Myanmar most people are afraid of their bosses and also afraid of conflict in general. So what generally happens is people tend to make an independent decision about their job, whether to stay or leave.
The reasons for leaving range from them not being busy enough (they like being busy), being yelled at by a staff over them, to feeling they have learned everything they are going to learn at this current job, or because they’ve finished 1 year at the job. You may be thinking I’m joking but I’m not. These are all valid reasons why staff decide to quit jobs.
There is also the “I’m not seeing a raise coming anytime soon,” so I’m leaving this job. My favorite though which foreigners always share is, “My mother is sick in the village and I need to take leave for a few days,” then they never come back. Whether there is a mother sick or not, there’s no communication after that.
So that’s the why but how do they leave and is it possible to get them to stay. How they leave can be as different as to why they leave. As in the “My Mothers sick reference,” they made an excuse to take a couple days then never reported back. In most cases though you’ll receive an email thanking you for the time at the company and that they are resigning……..next week. This isn’t ideal but they at least told you and you have a week (I’m smiling as I type this).
- Tell them they can’t leave in a week as their contract says to give me 1-month notice
- Ask them what the reasons are that they are leaving (privately)
- Tell them you are sorry for whatever it is and there are options for them to get what they desire
- Negotiate with them for a better situation. Change job description to challenge them, tell them specifics on a raise, and make sure they know their value in the company
- If they still want to leave: Wish them well and give them a recommendation for their next job
As a business owner or manager, the key is to know what’s going on in your staff lives that are directly reporting to you. Know their needs (family situation), understand if they might be on the verge of leaving. Make it easy for them to approach you. Lastly, try to be as generous as you can with them……..it’s called empathy.
Written By - Mr. Ryan Russell (CEO of Myanmar Business Answers)