Listening to the GOP Presidential debates makes one wonder about the importance of honesty. Can any of us believe that each of the candidates will do all they say? Hasn’t history proven that in politics most people “say whatever they think people want to hear” in order to gain their votes? Their statements are based upon “facts,” but facts can be interpreted differently, depending upon your point of view. My local newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, now has a “Truth-O-Meter” that they apply to statements made by politicians, as well as other public leaders. Apparently they evaluate these with independent research they conduct using non-partisan data. Not surprisingly, a good number of statements rate in the middle between True and False. And somewhat frequently the result is “Liar, liar, you’re pants are on fire.”
If it is acceptable to “play loose with the truth” in politics, is it acceptable to do so with your employees, or when in an active job search? NO is the only acceptable answer. After all, the key to successful employer-employee relationships is trust. How can there be trust if one only considers what they want and not what is important to the other?
Organizations, like people, change. Situations that were not anticipated arise, and decisions are made. Talented people who are making a contribution suddenly do not have a job. While unfortunate, it seems to be a fact of organizational life today. We learn a lot about both people and organizations by how they handle this difficult situation.
Organizations that truly care about their employees will support those whose jobs are abolished by providing some type of career services which include outplacement. It is smart business to do so. Eventually the organization will be hiring again, and its reputation will be important in attracting those individuals important for its success. The departing employee will be much better served if the organization cares enough to select an outplace provider who has the ability to really “connect” and help them continue their career journey, not just check the box to say “we offered outplacement.” (Note – we do not offer outplacement, but can recommend some who are terrific at this!)
If you have been terminated, how should you respond to questions about your departure when you are being interviewed for another position? Some may “say whatever they think is most expedient!” Perhaps the company who is interviewing you will never learn the details. Trust really comes into play here! Determine how you will address this as you are preparing for the interview. My suggestion – be truthful. Have a well thought-out response that makes it as positive as possible. Don’t break someone’s trust in you. Dishonesty will eventually be discovered.