‘i’d Never Work Here Again’
“If it was so miserable for you while you were earning a paycheck and benefits, then why did you stay?” Manciagli asks. “Every employee has choices to make. I don’t see bars on the windows and doors or your feet chained to the floor. Yet now, because you are on your way out, you disclose it was that bad. A little dramatic for my taste and makes you look totally unaccountable for your own career.”
Plus, remember that your last day is rarely the last affiliation you’ll have with your employer.
Kerr says it may be difficult to find the right balance between being honest and cordial, especially if you’ve got any pent up anger or frustrations but he says if you frame your opinions in such a way “that you are first and foremost thinking about what’s best for the company, you’ll have a far greater chance of having a real impact and leaving a more positive impression.”
Did You Receive Feedback To Help You Improve
No one wants to feel like theyre stuck in a rut, especially at work. So if an employee feels stagnant, its vital that you know about it sooner rather than later.
When youve identified a floundering employee, the best way to inspire them to greatness again is by providing constructive feedback to help them improve. Maybe they need to focus on a different aspect of the job or go back to basics to perfect their skills.
Whatever the solution, managers should be ready and willing to provide guidance to help employees get better at their jobs. If an outgoing employee didnt receive that guidance, you have some changes to make.
Im A Senior Manager And Prior To Covid
Your situation is one I have heard so many times this year. It sounds like you and your team really stepped up at the start of the pandemic and understood why you needed to work harder and longer just to keep the business going during a crisis. Many organisations announced large workforce cuts during 2020 and I wonder how many of them are now assessing the issues these have created for the employees left to carry the load.
Have you tried talking to your boss to understand why they are so resistant to hiring more team members? Is it because the business is still struggling with the uncertainty of COVID-19 or are they just happy to be spending less on employee wages? Either way, it is clearly not sustainable, and your boss needs to hear that. Your boss also needs to appreciate that high turnover of key staff is going to cost the business a lot more in the long run.
Send your questions about work, careers and leadership to . Your name and any identifying information will not be used. Letters may be edited.
Dr Kirstin Ferguson is an award-winning leader, executive coach and public speaker. Her upcoming book Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership will be published by Penguin Random House. You can connect with Kirstin at kirstinferguson.com.
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Would You Recommend The Company/job To Others
Why they ask it: If you say yes, then obviously you like the job and company. If you say no, HR wants to know why to see if they can fix it.
How to answer it: If your answer is yes, explain why as deeply as you want. If your answer is no, then you need to be honest about that, without going too deep. Overall, I have enjoyed my time here, but thats my experience. If someone asked me if they should apply here, I would ask them more questions about their preferred work environments, career goals, and communication styles. Its probably not for everybody.
Do You Feel Your Manager Gave You What You Needed To Succeed
From training and one-on-one meetings to performance reviews and career development opportunities, managers have a responsibility to make sure each of their team members have the tools and feedback they need to excel in their role. This is one of the best exit interview questions, as it can reveal if employees feel abandoned in any of these areas so it can be addressed with their manager.
Exit Interview Questions You Should Ask
Employees leaving your company can offer a wealth of insight into your employee experience, expose potential weaknesses in your organizations processes and company culture, provide an evaluation of management and give you ideas for improving employee retention.
Often, employees feel more comfortable giving honest feedback when theyre leaving an organization and know their responses wont affect their standing with the company. That makes exit interviews a crucial step in the offboarding process.
However, since some exiting employees may feel uncomfortable directly sharing the real reason behind their departure, its often not enough to just ask Why are you leaving? Instead, consider asking a range of questions to discover some of the reasons why an employee is leaving.
Here are a few exit interview questions to help you get the most value from these final conversations.
Are you a job seeker? Find jobs.
Do You Have Any Other Issues Or Comments Youd Like To Address
This is a very open-ended question, so it invites the employee to comment on topics that may not have been addressed in the other questions. Its also potentially volatile in that it can reveal things you werent aware of and may not want to hear.
But those things you werent aware of can fester and spread and infect your employees writ large, not just a select few. Better to get it out in the open now so you can make the necessary changes.
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Did You Feel Equipped To Do The Job Here
Asking this question gives you direct insight into how to train new employees. It can even help you understand how to retrain your existing employees.
You may receive straight answers that make you feel uncomfortable , but youll also receive actionable information with which you can make immediate changes.
What Did You Like And Dislike About The Job
Why they ask it: Theyre asking you this because theres a chance that they want to compare your notes to previous employees who had your role, or they may rethink the position.
How to answer it: Talk honestly about what you liked and about what you disliked, but keep things professional. Or, feel free to make a small joke about your dislike. I really like the amount of training I received over the years. I learned a lot about the strategic aspects of marketing and will be able to use those skills wherever I go. I disliked the coffee. But, seriously, there wasnt anything I disliked, but I do wish the company offered more remote and flexible work options.
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Should I Be Honest On My Exit Interview
You have nothing to gain and plenty to lose by unloading a pile of grievances at the exit interview. People can be petty and it is easy to unintentionally burn bridges during the exit interview.
If you do decide to be brutally honest at your exit interview, bring specific examples with details and not just general statements. Always be calm, professional, and respectful postpone the meeting if necessary. Limit your personal observations and opinions and use factual statements whenever possible. Constrain yourself to significant, meaningful issues dont make the mistake of airing petty complaints this is not the time to bring up how your stapler constantly went missing.
Balance your critical statements with suggestions for improvement. Provide constructive feedback that will help if acted upon, but dont let negative experiences turn your comments bitter and resentful.
Expert Tip: Research has shown the exit interview process is largely ineffective because employees distort their feedback. Leaving on good terms and not burning the bridge with their former employer far outweighs any benefit to employees at this stage.
Take Feedback With A Grain Of Salt
Last but not least, don’t take every interviewer’s feedback as gospel truth. “My manager is a big jerk” coupled with an employee’s record of coming in late and clocking out early most likely means that the manager was simply managing and the two didn’t see eye to eye.
An exit interview can provide valuable information, but it’s not a source of unbiased information. Instead of just looking at interviews on a case-by-case basis, look for trends and consistent feedback and then use the collective information to improve your company. If you do this, you’ll be able to build a better culture and take care of problems proactively.
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Were You Comfortable Talking To Your Manager
The unique thing about this question is that it reveals details about two individualsthe outgoing employee and the manager.
First and foremost, you can use the information you glean from the employees answer to improve the performance and development of the manager who still works for your company. Second, you can use the information to help in finding a new employee for the team.
Would You Recommend Our Company To A Friend Looking For A Job
If at all possible, you want the answer to this question to be yes. It indicates the success of the company as a whole. The outgoing employee may be dissatisfied with small aspects of her job, but you want her to talk positively about the company. If she wouldnt recommend your company to her friend, find out why and then fix it.
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The Exit Interview Process
Employers fall into two main categories for how they complete their exit interviews. For employees that they want to retain, expect Human Resources to schedule an interview soon after you submit your resignation. The most common scenario is for your exit interview to be on your last day of work, almost exclusively so if your company has a standing policy against counter-offers.
Companies use many methods to conduct their exit interviews but the most common is a face-to-face discussion. Other companies use video interviews, questionnaires, or online video surveys.
In all cases, the exit interview is designed to get candid feedback about the organization. Seemingly they want to know why you are leaving so they can prevent a larger exodus and retain critical employees or uncover deeper issues. In reality there is another reason why employers conduct exit interviews they want to determine if you intend to sue the company.
Waiting until your exit interview to report harassment, illegal activity, or other actionable violations can actually work against you. Late reporting is better than never reporting, but the timing reduces your credibility and will be used by the company in their defense against any claims that may result.
How Do I Make That Happen
Great question. First, heres what not to do.
- Dont come to the meeting unprepared.
- Dont try to throw anyone under the bus.
- Dont complain just for the sake of complaining.
- Dont get angry.
Instead, put together a list of the most important things that you would like to see changed. Include any attempts you made to institute these changes during your tenure at the company. Suggest other steps that you believe the company could take.
In short: turn your complaints into action items.
Be prepared to explain the benefits that you believe each of these changes will bring. As with anything at your company, try to tie it back to cold hard cash if you can.
If you have heard the same complaints from others, say so, but do not mention names. I dont think I have ever had a reason to mention a specific person during an exit interview. You may be prodded for names. Dont give in.
As with any feedback session, dont focus only on the negative. You may find that your positive comments actually have more of an impact than your negative ones. Change is always harder than constancy, and sometimes its just as important to let a company know what they shouldnt change as it is to inform them of what they should change.
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How To Leave On Good Terms: What To Say At An Exit Interview
Leaving your current job is a mixture of excitement and dread. You look forward to the challenge and opportunity of the future, but know that you will miss coworkers and the familiarity of your current job even if you didnt enjoy your responsibilities or your boss. When you are escaping a bad situation it can be tempting to vent at your exit interview and finally tell the company all the things that are broken and name names.
At your exit interview, resist the urge to put your previous boss and employer on blast, even when you never want to come back. Respond with neutral comments or simply dont discuss problem issues. Maintain your professionalism and keep your reputation intact.
When the exit interview is run by Human Resources the company is unlikely to make changes based on the feedback and you never know when you need references or might run into these same people later in your career.
Remember that even in the litigious climate today, most background checks will confirm your job title, dates of employment, and the question Are they eligible for rehire?. Providing a laundry list of complaints and problems at your exit interview may be considered evidence of a disgruntled employee and inappropriate behavior. Remember that how you leave can affect your future.
Can I Ask For An Exit Interview
If nobody schedules an exit interview, you can request a meeting with someone in your leadership structure or with an HR representative. Before you do, consider what you hope to accomplish.
You may have the best of intentions to pull back the curtain on uncomfortable truths within the company. It is commendable that you really want to make a difference for the coworkers you are leaving behind. Remember that exit interviews are the norm, any company that doesnt use them or forgets to schedule yours is highly unlikely to do anything with your feedback. You can be right in principle but lose in politics.
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I Have Just Read Julia Banks Story About Her Time In Politics And How She Felt Bullied By Her Boss During Phone Calls This Happens To Me All The Time Especially Since We Are Now Working From Home My Boss Rings Abusing Me And Swearing At Me About Things He Is Not Happy With Because No One Else Hears Our Calls I Feel No One Would Believe Me If I Reported Him Speaking Up About It Seems Impossible Since I Am Sure He Would Just Deny It What Do You Recommend
I know first-hand how hard it is, but if you can find the courage to do so, do try and speak up. I truly believe times have changed since #MeToo and since Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins landmark report was published.
Never forget that you do not have to put up with what you are dealing with. It is never OK for someone to speak to you like this. If you dont feel you can formally report him, then perhaps find someone you really trust at work to talk with so you can come up with a strategy together. It is also possible that you are not the only one he is treating this way and joining with others experiencing the same will make you a powerful force.
Think about confronting your boss directly and next time he is abusing you, ask him to put it in an email. He is undoubtedly a coward and wont dare put in writing what he might say to you in person. Take care of yourself and know that I believe you and others will too.
What Are The Benefits Of Conducting Exit Interviews
Especially considering the relatively small investment , there are plenty of benefits to conducting exit interviews:
- Genuine Feedback: As mentioned above, the most obvious purpose of exit interviews is to gather feedback. Hopefully, employees feel safe providing feedback throughout their employment without it negatively impacting their jobs. But the great thing about a departing employee is they dont have much to lose by speaking their mind. So, ask the tough questions.
- Amicable Parting: Whether your employee is leaving because of their choice or yours, theyre still people who deserve respect. An exit interview might not be able to correct every less-than-satisfactory experience, but it can certainly help.
- Employment Wrap Up: An exit interview is a perfect place to ensure employees understand any lingering obligations like equipment returns, non-competes, intellectual property agreements, etc.
- Q& A: You might not be the only one with questions, either your employee might have a few things theyd like answered, too. Whether theyre looking for answers on setting up COBRA insurance or why they were passed up for a promotion last year,, an employee exit interview can provide a lot of clarity.
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Your Reason For Leaving
This is fairly straightforward perhaps you were approached, unsolicited, by an executive recruiter with an exciting new role that was also a step-up in title and pay. Or maybe you are relocating to be closer to family or to support your spouses new job. Or perhaps you are burned out and need a break to reflect on what you really want in your career and life. This is helpful for the organization to know and can allow the exit interviewer to probe further in the appropriate areas.