They are getting fired as the company realizes they were the wrong choice from beginning on or they have been involved in disloyal or criminal activities.
Or either they have heard or read about a job offer they think fits their (mostly financial) needs better than what they have presently. Maybe they believe the job offered brings them the next step up in their career.
Upper management employees getting approached by aggressive headhunters who are after a top employee with non-resistible conditions of the closest competitor.
And there are the ones who never leave, not because they are so happy with the company itself but who have quitted their job internally, but do not tell anybody. They are pretenders having given up their business careers.
They will do the minimal only on the brink of getting fired. They have multiple outside activities, being hyperactive in church, charities and sports and they abuse the company for which they were once successful parts of the workforce only as the resources of a good income with minimal engagement.
If companies have too many of these internally absent ones it can come to total or partial collapse sooner or later as they, mostly middle managers should be the driving forces to the coworkers above and beyond.
There are studies how once precious employees encounter this critical stage of frustration:
Acquisitions are another danger. A company ten times as large as the acquired one brings with them new managers who know everything better and want to change the culture which made the company so successful that it became a lucrative takeover target. They turn the old company upside down without reaching anything but leave behind a battlefield of paralyzed first hour colleagues.
This highly frustrated personnel layer is in all truth a source of talent which only needs to be reactivated.
The internal quitting is not a process coming from one day to the other it is slowly creeping by not getting involved anymore into decisions they believe is their competence and which worked so successful before.
Where there were informal get-togethers before, all of a sudden meetings are called in by obviously incompetent superiors with strict agendas and public rebukes if results are not exactly met.
Internal quitting happens when all of a sudden the culture is changed in a way which does not allow any identification with the old targets anymore.
Change of the tones to the worse, multilayer structures where a flat informal and target oriented organization worked perfectly before.
So how a company can met this personnel challenges?
Firing somebody is always a hard decision specifically if it is not financially based. All the reasons need to be carefully thought about as at the end it might enter in complicated and expensive legal disputes.
The other two reasons that people are looking permanently into the job market to find something better or thy become targets of aggressive headhunters is a sign of bad personnel planning.
It will be able to react with a good personnel planning which must openly be accessible to all the workforce and everybody is invited to discuss his chances how he can get up in the career ladder inside the own organization and he can recognize his or her long term perspective. The same is true for the top management.
Let’s face the fact this never can be solved through total satisfaction of the personnel planners. It is a fact that the air is thinner at the top and there might be two highly qualified candidates for exactly the same position.
Some migration is normal and acceptable.
But coming back to the internally quitted ones there is the best chance for making good personnel planning effective:
As long as these colleagues are hiding in their cocoon of being part of a non-active workforce doing only the least necessary and pretend to be active they appear not worth to be hold. They only cost a lot of money and block positions and hold others off being productive.
But mostly this is not their own fault. Reactivation is the name of the game.
The HR department hopefully positioned in the top Management must work out plans to get these employees back in to the action they were once an important part of.
Individual and group interviews will show where the frustrations are coming from. Previous activities have to be revitalized they have to get back their importance again they had before. Surely there will be not enough specified positions showing the appreciation of their new importance. But there can be created new departments who can operate like think-tanks and offer help to young managers with their experience in special projects.
Not everybody can become a CEO but if new positions are created and filled with life in a way the once frustrated ones can recognize that they are an important part of the game again and integral members of the decision-making process much is achieved for the company.