E-MAIL: Hospice in the Weald chief executive Rob Woolley wrote to members of staff to stop the gossip gathering further momentum
LOW MORALE? Staff are concerned by recent levels of resignations
THE chief executive of Hospice in the Weald has moved to quell "gossip" and "rumour" surrounding a wave of staff exits.
Those who left last month or have given notice at the Pembury-based charity include the head of counselling support services, head of fundraising, head of retail, the chaplain and the facilities manager.
Chief executive Rob Woolley, who joined the 17-bed hospice six months ago, took the unusual step of contacting all staff and volunteers, urging them to "respect the decisions" of departing staff.
He also aimed to address what he called "ripples of concern" among the 142-strong workforce and 750 volunteers in his e-mail along with a statement from the senior management team.
It said: "The senior management team do not believe the recent cluster of resignations by staff should be a reason to worry."
He added: "All the staff who have notified the hospice of their intentions to leave have personal reasons. It is unfortunate that there have been a number of announcements in a short space of time. However, this is no reason for others to read anything negative into this."
He told them it was "healthy" for organisations to have a "reasonable level of staff turnover".
He said no one had been asked to leave or had been made redundant at the hospice in Maidstone Road.
Speaking to the Courier this week, Mr Woolley said morale was high but conceded there might be "a couple of malcontents" or people who assumed staff had been "pushed or had jumped before they were going to be pushed".
He said in the past five months eight employees had left or had given notice, seven of whom were listed on the staff letter.
An anonymous member of staff had contacted the Courier with the e-mails and accusations of low morale.
Mr Woolley said there was a "general malaise about the recession which worries people" but added: "Coming from the RAF, I am always keen on morale. It's quite a complex thing to measure but we have had lots of discussions about morale and I would say it is high.
"We sent this e-mail because we wanted to nip rumours in the bud to maintain that morale."