exit interviews - your final words

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Exit interviews are a valuable tool for organizational improvement, usually involving a meeting between management or a human resources representative and the individual leaving the organization. They are also valuable to the exiting employee and offer a platform to articulate insights and feedback. It is important to be just as professional, well-mannered and well-spoken in your exit interview as you would be in a pre-If you’re still looking!. Take time to prepare yourself and your choice of words and topics.

Exit interviews are often very helpful in informing companies about what the employee experience is like and what opportunities for improvement exist. For you, as the soon to be ex-employee, conducting your exit interview in a professional and constructive manner ensures you don’t burn any bridges.

A strong exit interview means telling the truth, but maybe not the additional resources. It might be tempting to share all of your frustrations, but you shouldn’t. Share facts and remember this is not the place to become emotional.

Prepare for your exit with your head held high. What will you be asked?

The Human Resource department wants to ask the right questions to help decrease employee turnover and prevent wrongful termination lawsuits. You can expect a series of open-ended questions with the purpose of learning more about your employment experience. You will have an opportunity to share the reasons you resigned. The three most common reasons employees seek out new work situations are greater earnings opportunity, increased or different work responsibility or promotion and loss of respect or rapport with a supervisor or co-worker. If you fall into one or more of these categories, don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s likely that HR is already familiar with these situations.

Sharing negative information: Don’t do it.

Speak only constructively when offering feedback. If possible, balance negative remarks with something positive.

A place you can stand. Remember that old adage: don’t say anything about someone that you wouldn’t say to them personally. As a best practice, assume that what you say may be shared with others in management. Be professional and be measured in your content, word choices and tone.

Envision your feedback as if it were a written document, publicly available to the entire company. Ask yourself if it reflects how you want to be remembered and how you want to contribute to the company you have been part of. Don’t let your last hour destroy your legacy and your brand and all that you worked to build professionally over months or years as a positive and contributing team member.


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