Ghosting – who’s to blame?
Ghosting – a definition – “the practice of ending a relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”
Until recently, the practice of ‘ghosting’ was associated with the world of dating. One party, without warning, goes silent on the other. No phone calls, texts or emails – not a word of explanation. Psychologists claim this is a characteristic of tech-driven millennials. They point to today’s tech-driven, ‘swipe-left’ approach to romance. It’s the equivalent of leaving a party without saying your goodbyes, sometimes known as an ‘Irish goodbye’ or a ‘French exit.’
Disruptive, upsetting, costly
This disappearing act seems recently to have infected the workplace. Workers inexplicably leaving their employment without giving notice has become increasingly widespread. Ghosting can even occur before employment has begun –
- failing to turn up for an interview
- not responding to a job offer
- failing to turn up for their first day at work
If this has happened in your Practice, you’ll know how disruptive, upsetting and costly it can be. But whose fault is it? Is it simply a manifestation of the ‘fecklessness and crass manners of millennials’? Or could the blame be laid partly at the door of employers? Is ghosting a reflection of an uncaring attitude on their part?
The wider view
Clearly, as an employee at a Practice, to quit without notice is undesirable from almost every point of view. It’s ill-mannered and disruptive. Unless, there are extreme circumstances, such as workplace abuse, there’s no good reason for this kind of disappearing act (even then, you should, if at all possible, follow proper procedures). There’s also the practical matter of explaining yourself to a future employer.
But before issuing a blanket condemnation, shouldn’t we first examine the issue more widely? Does an explanation lie in changes in societal behaviour?
Young people recognise that theirs is a generation growing up less prosperous than the previous one. They find themselves weighed down by greater employment uncertainty, the burden of debt, negligible wage growth, and an increasingly out-of-reach housing market.
People’s view of employers might also be clouded by the ethos of the ‘gig economy’. A sector with negligible job security or employment rights, low wages, few prospects for career progression.
Could these factors not be a cause (though not an excuse) for young people’s diminishing trust, respect and loyalty towards employers?
Look in the mirror
So, what can Accountancy Practice do to ensure their chances of being ghosted are reduced to a minimum? The answer is to review your own Practice ethos. It’s that old adage – treat others as you would wish to be treated. Be sure that your practice affords its people the same levels of respect and care with you’d like to be treated yourselves.
Communication is a typical area where there’s often room for improvement. Do your employees have a clear understanding of their roles, their responsibilities and their rewards?
It’s the not knowing that hurts
Following the interview process – do you feedback promptly and courteously? You might think it an exaggeration, but to be left hanging, ignored, can cause permanent psychological damage to a candidate. The brain processes rejection and loss of social status like a bodily injury. It can leave permanent scars.
Make sure your Practice minimises the chances of being ‘ghosted’. Keep everyone onside with a clear, fair and considerate working ethos. We work with Accountancy Practices, throughout the UK, sourcing the best candidates for each Practice role.
Do call us. We’re here to help.
Telephone – 0333 577 7787
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Has your Accountancy Practice suffered from ghosting? Find out more about this 21st century scourge and how to avoid it. Call 0333 577 7787.