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It was all over financial media yesterday and even trended on Twitter. Some guy left Goldman Sachs in a huff and got The New York Times to print his sudo-resignation letter. Besides making good print and allowing everyone a chance to break out their soap boxes, this public face-slapping of an employer by an exiting employee does teach us two things.

Culture matters

In HR circles we like to talk about how important culture matters, but most times getting the day-to-day done prevents us from focusing on maintaining a healthy internal culture with excellent retention and wellness plans. Take a look as this massive description of what the now ex-Goldman employee said about what his company “used” to be.

“…culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization.”

Did this guy say, “back in the day I was making bank and now am not?” No. He described a great place to work by describing intangibles – things that have no salary requirement.

The Twitter-verse is expanding

The second thing that this public resignation has reinforced is there are no more secrets. Your organization better have a game plan ready for these public demonstrations whether justified or not. Most of us will never have to deal with a PR nightmare like this one, but we can experience one that is relative to our own universe.

Goldman may lose a little money from this description of how clients are viewed by some in the organization, but what if you are a nonprofit and you depend on the “charity” of the public? You may not ever be able to afford a situation like this.

We better all take a quick look at our internal cultures and make sure they are healthy. We might want to spend a little more time on culture from here on out. We also better put together a game plan for being criticised publicly by a former employee. Public is much larger than it used to be.

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