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The Practice Management Knowledge Community (PMKC) identifies and develops information on the business of architecture for use by the profession to maintain and improve the quality of the professional and business environment.  The PMKC initiates programs, provides content and serves as a resource to other knowledge communities, and acts as experts on AIA Institute programs and policies that pertain to a wide variety of business practices and trends.

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Email Resignnations

  • 1.  Email Resignnations

    Posted 22 days ago
    Has anyone dealt with a resignation by email (from a person working full time in the office)? Am I old fashioned to think this is really unprofessional? I would appreciate any thoughts on this.

    ------------------------------
    [ Nea May] [Poole] AIA
    [Principal]
    [Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC]
    [Midlothian, ] [Virginia]
    ------------------------------
    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 2.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 20 days ago
    I would accept email ONLY as a confirmation from a phone call, Skype/Teams call, or in person (in ascending order of preference). I do recognize that electronic correspondence is the norm these days, but some events still need to be done in person - and a job change is one of those events.

    ------------------------------
    Edmond Gauvreau, FAIA
    Washington, DC
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 3.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 18 days ago
    No mail of any kind replaces one on one conversation but is correct way to document event or information.

    --
    Peter Winkler, A.I.A.
    winkler.aia@gmail.com
    480-438-4128

    Kindness For All




    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 4.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 20 days ago
    Hi Nea, it would be my suggestion that you maintain your professional demeanor and position and conduct the resignation in a one-on-one, face-to face sit-down, at your convenience.  Think of what your reaction would be to being terminated via email.  You don't deserve, or need that kind of potential, unwanted 'blowback'.

    It's never pleasant, but you have a business and a culture of accountability to maintain, so you do whatever is needed to ensure that endures; no exceptions. 

    Regards,
    Steve

    "Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." – A. Einstein  

    MANAGEMENT CONSULTING SERVICES
    Steve L. Wintner, AIA Emeritus
    281.723.2090 (O), 512.943.8714 (H)
    Georgetown, TX 78633-5712








    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 5.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 19 days ago
    My apologies for the confusion in my response.  I was focused on 'terminations', not resignations, my bad.

    ------------------------------
    Steve L. Wintner, AIA Emeritus
    Founder-Principal
    Management Consulting Services
    Georgetown TX 78633-5712
    slwintner@managementconsultingservices.com
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 6.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 20 days ago
    Low class and totally unprofessional, not knowing all the details, I also believe that getting a written resignation letter being left in an envelope on your desk also qualifies as unprofessional. Some folks don’t know how much a conversation can do to keep from burning bridges. I will never understand why that seems to be the thing to do.

    Sent from my iPa



    Juan Romero , AIA, NCARB
    President + CEO
    jromero@apiplus.com

    api(+)
    2709 Rocky Point Dr. 201
    Tampa, Florida 33607
    T (813) 281-9299
    F (813) 281-9292


    Please visit us online at: apiplus.com


    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 7.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 20 days ago
    Nea,
    Of course it would be unprofessional, perhaps not as spineless as terminating an employee by e-mail or Twitter, but disappointing to say the least.  Once an employee did not appear for work so we called his home and his spouse reported he had taken another job.  Now that was cowardly!  A few years later he came back asking for a job interview.  No thanks!
    Jim
    James R. Foster, FAIA
    Architect Emeritus
    13004 Green Road
    West Fork, AR 72774-9370
    479-839-2492







    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 8.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 20 days ago

    Quick update to all. This person was in the office last Friday, her direct supervisor, my office manager and I were all in the office and available. She chose to send the email after work to the three of us.

    I do 100% of the hiring and firing of our firm. When I have to fire someone from a satellite office like Nashville I personally fly out to do so. I truly believe the adage "you are taking someone's job, there is no need to take their dignity". I discussed this with our senior guys over the weekend and I spoke with the person this morning first thing to let her know we would not be accepting her two week notice and that last Friday was her last day with us.



    ------------------------------
    [ Nea May] [Poole] AIA
    [Principal]
    [Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC]
    [Midlothian, ] [Virginia]
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 9.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 17 days ago
    Just a curiosity - for an employee to resign just by an email there is likely an underlying issue or issues that resulted in that employee's drastic, professional life changing action. Resons may include possible workplace issues, lack of adequate training, or personal emotional issues or a combination.  I wonder if the employee had tried to reach out to supervisor(s) prior to resignation or was counseled of any issues that initiated a final, abrupt resignation by the employee. 

    For firms that can afford it, I recommend initiating a DiSC to really get to understand the staff and what makes them tick.  It can also be used to better communicate with individual employees.
    --
    Michael Katzin, AIA | NCARB
    Director | Michael Katzin Project Services
    Johns Creek, GA



    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 10.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 18 days ago
    Nea,

    Once an employee has chosen to leave, make it as easy on yourself as possible.  Cover your bases however you chose so that you have written documentation that departure was the employee's choice.  You do not want to leave yourself open to a claim on your unemployment compensation fund.

    I agree, it is unprofessional, but that's on your former employee.  If he/she is acting unprofessional toward you, I suspect he/she is an employee that is just generally "unprofessional."  It's history, let it go and move on.  You and your firm are better off without that employee.

    ------------------------------
    Jerry Berggren AIA
    Berggren Architects
    Lincoln NE
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 11.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 18 days ago
    Hi Jerry Berggren,

    Your post has me wondering how long the employee had worked there.

    Also, what is the industry standard professional way to resign? I would think a typed letter giving two weeks’ notice handed to one’s supervisor in person at a meeting set in advance.

    When I was HR Director for a Home Health agency eons ago, we didn’t have very high turnover, thankfully. One DON RN (Dir of Nursing) stands out to me. She would get overwhelmed and say she was going to leave. She did that like 4 times over about a month. We’d discuss this in our nightly Board meetings and the MD finally said: “If she says this again, accept her resignation on the spot.” Which we did the following Friday, if memory serves me correctly. Growing pains of a start-up.

    Thanks for letting me share.

    Respectfully,

    Tara Imani, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID, CSI
    Registered Architect + Interior Designer

    Tara Imani Designs, LLC
    10333 Richmond Avenue, Suite 170
    Houston, TX 77042

    Work/Mobile Ph: 832-723-1798

    www.taraimanidesigns.com


    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 12.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 19 days ago
    We recently experienced this as well and had the same reaction (unprofessional), but at the end of the day decided that it made no difference. We terminated the person effective that day and that was it. I mean, they quit, so you really can't do anything to them.

    It is such an uncomfortable situation, that I can imagine that some people just can't deal with offering their resignation face to face.

    ------------------------------
    Carol Gillen
    Sierra Architects
    Waltham MA
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 13.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 19 days ago
    Yikes! Very unprofessional. Depending on the circumstances, I wonder if this relates back to a discussion we had previously about younger staff being "left behind" during the pandemic, and not getting the office culture exposure needed to recognize how unprofessional this kind of thing is.

    (The only exception that comes to mind is in the case of a toxic employee-employer relationship, where burning the bridge is an act of self-protection rather than cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.)

    Still, I can understand being taken aback in any case!

    ------------------------------
    Rachel Oleinick AIA
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 14.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 19 days ago
    Hi Nea,

    Thank you for the update. When I read that she’d sent “the three of you” an email after talking face to face with you in the office last a Friday, that indicated to me that she might’ve gotten angry or disappointed at something. Or do you think her mind was made up before the conversation?

    To her credit, she did offer you a two-week notice.

    With almost everything being online and virtual these days - and many people WFH (Working From Home) - it’s possible that, to her, the standard way of scheduling a meeting to hand someone a written letter of resignation was the equivalent of sending it via email.

    Most firms seem to need help and would be hard-pressed if someone left. Did you really not need her for those two weeks or did you just want to rid of the negativity.

    Lastly,
    I really liked the adage you shared: "you are taking someone's job, there is no need to take their dignity".


    Warm regards,

    Tara Imani, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID, CSI
    Registered Architect + Interior Designer

    Tara Imani Designs, LLC
    10333 Richmond Avenue, Suite 170
    Houston, TX 77042

    Work/Mobile Ph: 832-723-1798

    www.taraimanidesigns.com


    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 15.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 19 days ago

    To be clear she was not working from home, our Nashville office is small and while they had the option to stay home most of this past year each person decided individually they liked working as a group better. Also, again to clarify we were all in the office that day but 2 of us were in Richmond, while her boss was with her in Nashville, so she had the opportunity to talk with any of us and chose not to.

    When you say "at least" she gave us two weeks, I would be equally or perhaps more, disappointed in a 30 something professional adult who did not know to give two weeks minimum notice more than than I was at an email so I hardly see that as a plus in her column.

    Do we need the help, you bet. In 20 years we have only not accepted two weeks notice 3 times including this one; however, after discussing this with the Nashville team this was the path we decided upon. I think they believed the negativity was worse than the lack of her help.

    All this being said, I was kind to her this morning,  and wished her well in her new endeavors.



    ------------------------------
    [ Nea May] [Poole] AIA
    [Principal]
    [Poole & Poole Architecture, LLC]
    [Midlothian, ] [Virginia]
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 16.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 17 days ago
    Nea,

    Thank you for the update. I agree that the employee acted unprofessionally. I think your response was appropriate and respectful.

    When I started in the profession in 1983, Working Woman magazine was a tremendous resource for how to navigate the business world in a professional manner. Business magazines were also helpful. It was amusing how often my thinking was corrected as I read about workplace issues and what the correct response would be.

    Perhaps AIA National, State and/or local chapters should think about taking this issue as an opportunity to educate young professionals (or all members). They are often thrown into a situation where they have had no introduction to the norms of professional behavior. Understanding expectations would be helpful. It may also be time to update the norms to acknowledge that the world has changed, if we can do that without losing the courtesy and integrity that are required in all professional relationships. This is a task for everyone in the business world but again, the AIA could make a start.

    ------------------------------
    Carol De Tine AIA
    Carriage House Studio architects LLC
    Portland ME
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 17.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 17 days ago
    This has been one of the more interesting posts in quite some time. My first question (which was answered in a later post) was whether the staff member was only a few years out of school and unfamiliar with office protocol. Definitely something that has to be learned. However, to hear that it was a 30-something professional brought up another question - what in the office or about the office may have warranted them feeling an e-mail resignation was the only way to approach the situation? Were they unhappy with their job responsibilities? Were they uncomfortable addressing issues with management? Were they just generally unhappy?

    When I decided to leave my first job after 8 years, I met with my supervising principal and told her that I was starting to look for a position within another firm. While she was disappointed, she understood my need to move on and was supportive of the decision. She would have preferred I stay but still understood. And when I announced that I had found a position, I was allowed to stay and wind down my work instead of being terminated on the spot.

    That this 30-something professional didn't do this may be telling you something, and maybe it's worth having that conversation if not now then perhaps a little down the road when they have some perspective. This also may be a good time to talk with staff about expectations should they come to a point where they feel the need to exit the firm. Will the rest of them feel comfortable giving notice, preferably by letter? Or will they expect to be let go immediately and opt not to say anything until they are ready to give their two weeks?

    ------------------------------
    Lawrence Paschall AIA
    President/CEO
    Spotted Dog Architecture
    Dallas TX
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 18.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 17 days ago
    Lawrence - great points and perspective!

    ------------------------------
    Michael Katzin, AIA | NCARB
    Michael Katzin Project Services, LLC
    Johns Creek, GA
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 19.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 11 days ago
    Seconding Lawrence's note. There's a reason she didn't feel comfortable confronting a resignation face to face and that would be helpful for you and your team to ask about/understand. Maybe it was purely personal, life circumstancing being overwhelming, and she didn't have the capacity to face another challenge, but maybe it was a problem with her superiors, work environment, etc. - who knows? As a firm leader my perspective is to approach issues with the assumption that it's something I and my partners haven't done well enough, made clear enough, been supportive enough, and seek to understand to improve our company and systems.

    That said, I'm in a few forums with young architects and emerging professionals, and the topic of how to submit a resignation came up recently. I was alarmed to see an overwhelming amount of people advising submitting an email, stating it's important for documentation purposes. Few expanded on that by suggesting a request for meeting AND the email, and just left it at an email. There's some unfortunate advice floating around out there so it's entirely possible some of your staff think that's an acceptable or even preferred method to resign. Speak with your staff about the reality of people moving on and the best way to approach a resignation so they aren't afraid if/when the time comes and know the protocol.

    ------------------------------
    Leah Bayer AIA
    President
    OJK Architecture + Planning
    Palo Alto CA
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 20.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 10 days ago
    Leah's second paragraph was insightful. I've been wondering all along if it isn't just a matter of young people thinking email is appropriate. We send out our resume via email. We get accepted to a new position via email. Our firm gets work via email. We sign contracts via email.  Why shouldn't we resign via email? It might be nothing more than a cultural disconnect between older and younger generations.

    ------------------------------
    Kent Dombach AIA
    Director of Specifications
    USA Architects
    Philadelphia PA
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 21.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 10 days ago
    Good points, Kent.  I was recently on a roundtable discussion (virtual) and the junior staff participants expectations about companies recalling the workforce back to the office was very lopsided - discussions were geared only to the younger staff levels. The younger participants did not consider senior staff, office managers, project managers and supervisory expectations on how to supervise while being remote.

    Supervising, being supervised as well as training and mentoring over the past 14 months has been new to to all levels of staff.  The younger staff in the roundtable were silent for a moment when asked have they considered asking the senior staff leaders what they need to do to do their job responsibilities to manage projects mostly or partially virtually, as well mentoring and training.

    ------------------------------
    Michael Katzin, AIA | NCARB
    Michael Katzin Project Services, LLC
    Johns Creek, GA
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 22.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 9 days ago

    Many years ago shortly after I got my license I went to work for a sole proprietor firm.  The principal was probably the most ethical person I've encountered in my career.  Upon hiring me he handed me a document he had prepared called "The Code of Business Conduct".  In the 4 pages or so he set out his expectations for all employees that, in addition to our responsibilities to the firm, included how we were expected to treat each other, how to treat our consultants, even how to treat Product Representatives.  Not taking any chances he read it out loud to me as I followed along on my copy.  I still have a copy of "The Code" to this day and try to follow it in my own practice.

     

    When I served as Adjunct Professor at a local university we still taught office practice ten or so years ago and I taught a section on professional ethics.  I'm not aware if universities still teach Office Practice to architecture students but if they don't then it becomes incumbent on those of us in the profession to teach and maintain the standards we aspire to.

     

    DFT/Mika

     




    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 23.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 6 days ago
    Monday Afternoon 
    14 June 2021 DST

    Hi Donald,

    Would you be willing to share the
    Four (4) 'Code of Ethics' Pages
    with the group, or individually?

    Continued Blessings!

     


    Dave
    ��559-259-3576 Mobile / Text

    David Laurence Phillips
    LICENSED ARCHITECT
    Founding Owner & CEO
    • Advisor
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    DLP ASSOCIATES DESIGN
    • Advising
    • Consulting
    • Architecture
    • Planning
    • Interior Architecture
    • Design

    PURPOSE
    "Inspired Design"

    DESIGN STUDIO 1874

    CONTACT INFORMATION
    �� 559-456-6181 Office
    �� 559-456-2772 Fax
    ��559-259-3576 Mobile / Text
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           (being redesigned)

    __________________________________

              "INSPIRED DESIGN!"
                         Since 1996       

    __________________________________



    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 24.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 5 days ago
      |   view attached

    I have received several requests for the "Code of Business Conduct" and I'll try to send it to the community. 

     

    Bear in mind this was written in the 1950s before the Justice Department forced the AIA to abandon the "Canon of Ethics" incumbent on AIA members and the world has changed a lot, some may argue for the better and might be offended by the tone of the Code but I won't get into that discussion. 

     

    The main point is that firms should have a written standard of behavior to which all members agree to conform when they join and they should be aware that there may be consequences if they violate the standards. My major professor in university said in our Office Practice class, "As professionals we should profess something" and ethical standards are a good place to start.  As a practical matter an office standard should go a long way to protect the firm from a wrongful discharge suit if a member has to be discharged for cause.

     

    Good luck with it and thank you all for your interest.

     

    P.S. I think he got his French wrong, shouldn't the term be "En Charrette"?

     

    DFT/Katy

     




    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    Code of Business Conduct.pdf   5.23 MB 1 version
    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 25.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 5 days ago
    Thank you for sharing, I just read it and it brings some ideas to mind.  I now work on the client side, and over the last couple years I've toyed with (but never deployed) a "form letter to my Architect" to hand over to the consultant's PM at the start of a project for establishing expectations of work quality and protocols for project communications.

    I like the length of Kenneth Brooke's document, it is a nice balance between a hefty employee's manual that best serves as a door stop, but has enough detail to avoid being a menu of platitudinous of core values.

    ------------------------------
    Justus Pang
    Nevada State Public Works Division
    Las Vegas NV
    https://www.grizzlypear.com/process/Project Manager II / Architect
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 26.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 10 days ago
    Resignations are a tricky beast.  There is no good way to do it, but there is a right way to do it.

    I would agree email only is unprofessional.  If one really wants that new gig, then part of the price is sucking it up and chatting to the boss live (in person when possible).  My last resignation had to be over the phone since the owner of the company lived in another state and that was awkward.  I think he was a little miffed I didn't wait for his next visit to town, but I wasn't gonna to pass up a 30% pay raise for a few weeks just for the propriety.  Of course in today's post COVID work environment I'd have done it over a videoconference now that we've all learned that technology.

    I agree with the other comments that the fact that the employee chose the wrong way implies that there may be an issue brewing beneath the surface. If she had been at the office for a significant period, then it may imply that she wasn't mentored properly by more experienced colleagues.  If she was relatively new, then such a disconnect seems to be a cultural misfit, after all one bad step shouldn't create so much negativity to decline an additional two weeks of service in a tight job market.

    Leah's comments is good in highlighting the generational disconnect that has emerged over the past decade.  It is surprising how "kids these days" spend so much time on their phones without actually using the darn telephone app.  I'm in my early forties but everyone tells me that its a totally different universe with the young'uns...then again I was 28 (and still paying four cents per text) while our thirty year old friend was only 16 when the iphone came out.

    ------------------------------
    Justus Pang
    Nevada State Public Works Division
    Las Vegas NV
    https://www.grizzlypear.com/process/Project Manager II / Architect
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar


  • 27.  RE: Email Resignnations

    Posted 4 days ago
    I'm surprised to hear that so many members felt a two week noticed email as unprofessional. Considering how applicants are treated these days through ATS and HR notifications, it is difficult for new generations to feel personally invited and connected to a company. I'm 35 and have worked in various industries, and so I'm caught in between the new and the old ways.

    1990 rid of the pension plan that once made companies the patriarchal figure that protected its employees. 2007 marked another where our 401K was nothing like the pension plan, and job security was only as good as our productive values, and not our loyalty. I recently talked with my wife about how American companies are more human and equitable, and Chinese companies are more ruthless, competitive, but personal. It's a micro-observation, but let the idea sink-in. Being fair doesn't necessarily mean more personal.

    Coming back to my best practice. I would write an email as a paper trail and also allow a crafted expression towards my decision. I would probably leave an open ended invitation to a personal meeting, in person or zoom depending on culture. The personal meeting is to make amends, but the email is the ripping-off the bandaid. My logic would be that the manager may not want interruption, or be emotional effected before an important presentation. The email allowed more for ease of timing and immediacy, as "waiting for the right timing" can be a long anxious endeavor. Once the deed is done (2 week's notice given), its more productive to discuss solutions or how the two-week transition should occur.

    Just my personal opinion, and hope that sheds some light to another perspective.

    I would love to learn the code of business ethics. None of that was taught in school. We learned that through family and close friends, and even that is a microcosm.

    ------------------------------
    Charles Ou-Yang Assoc. AIA
    Partner
    Ball Architecture
    Irvine CA
    ------------------------------

    ICYMI: Shifting perceptions of workplace relationships | Watch the recorded webinar