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When a Two Week’s Notice Is Two Months Late


Image by TRF Mr Hyde via Flickr

Employee: Boss I have some good news and some bad news.

Boss: What’s the good news?

Employee: I’m turning in my two week notice.

Boss: That’s the GOOD news? Sheesh, what’s the bad news?

Employee: It’s two months late.

With employee disengagement at an all time high (some estimates put it at 87%), when an employee turns in a two week notice, chances are very good they “checked out” quite some time ago.

Organizations worldwide have seen the surveys pointing to a disengaged workforce or worse — the actively disengaged subset looking to cause organizational harm. As a result, many have begun looking for solutions. What about your firm?

Solutions proposed have ranged from making everything a game to more employee surveys to giving employees a stake in the business. But if you’re disengaged and really don’t care for your job, does making work into a “competitive game” really engage anyone? If management hasn’t listened to anything from previous surveys, is one more going to change anything … even if they PROMISE this time will be different? If you hate your job, do you really want to “have a stake” in it? The answer is NO on all three counts.

Research from Target Training International has shown that job fit is a vital component of employee engagement … or disengagement. Spotting a potentially disengaged employee can be relatively easy. Take a look at the chart below:


“Natural” means how the employee wants to act or how the employee will act under extreme stress. Adapted style is how the employee perceives the workplace behaviors he/she needs in order to succeed or how that employee behaves at work.

This employee is naturally a conductor — someone who gets things done, who is competitive, results-oriented, a change agent with a high sense of urgency. The job, however, is calling for someone more slow to change, with more attention to detail, and much more product oriented. In many cases, this employee will be frustrated and could easily become disengaged, simply going through the motions. The alternative is that this employee will experience large amounts of stress as they struggle to be something they are not.

Anytime a person’s natural style is more than two boxes away from their adapted style (their perception of what’s required at their workplace), there is a greater likelihood of disengagement. It all boils down to a “lack of job fit” and the greater the distance between the two, the greater the frustration, the stress, and the lack of fit.

We instinctively know you can’t put an extroverted, bubbly, happy-go-lucky person in a basement cubicle with no person-to-person interaction or thrust a quiet, reserved, thoughtful, slower-paced person into the lead role on The Price Is Right. Could either people do the job? Of course. People can and regularly DO adapt. Would they like it? Most likely not. The “fit” just isn’t there and when the fit isn’t right, stress creeps in and disengagement can be just around the corner.

What happens when the two styles are close to each other or even IN the same box? We hear things like, “I was made for this job” or “I love, really love what I do.” People who fit their job role find a substantial reduction in stress because they don’t have to force themselves to behave like someone they’re not.


This person’s natural and adapted styles match. There’s no internal conflict between their natural style and what they perceive is the style needed for success at work. Chances are very good this person will have lower stress from their workplace.

What role does behavior play in performance and engagement?

When we match people to a job based on their natural behavioral tendencies, we remove STRESS. Stress is a wet towel on the hot coals of performance. When an employee is truly matched to a job, all of their energies can flow into the performance of that job rather than to adapting to its demands.

Engaged employees, properly matched, are more energized and that energy is natural. These people look forward to Monday mornings because their natural talents will be put to good use.

People have a deep seated need to find a home for their strengths. ~Bill J. Bonnstetter

Are your employees or team members engaged? Have you measured?


Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create job benchmark solutions, and implement succession planning. Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at or at 870-761-7881.