In a recent edition of the Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, I discussed exit interviews — the cockroaches of the HR world. You just can’t get rid of ’em, but you don’t wanna swallow one, either.
Ed Heron, a seasoned manager, submitted comments that I’d like to share with you. His perspective is sharp and on target. His message is simple: Good managers don’t need to do exit interviews.
I have been a successful manager for three decades. I do not believe that anyone who is fired should engage in any form of exit interview. Their employer has already indicated their opinion of their worth!However, if they are voluntarily resigning, and if the parting is amicable, it might be considered. Consider it more if you are leaving behind co-workers that you respect a lot. I agree with Tony Banaro’s comment, “It amazes me that with all of the volumes and volumes of books and articles and papers out there, managers still do not understand the number one rule of business: Take Care of Your People”.
Through out my entire adult life, I have found it amazing the way companies have made it easy for me to appear successful. I would take almost any employee who was about to be released, and treat them with a little human dignity and respect. In short order, I would rehabilitate the deficient area or areas. Positive reinforcement would be employed whenever it could be “genuine.” (Simple “One Minute Manager” stuff.) In no time at all, the employee in question would feel and act as though they worked principally for me, and not just for our company.
The need for exit interviews was extremely rare in any area that I managed.
Every reason I’ve heard to justify exit interviews is an excuse for not talking to employees while they are still your employees. This manager reinforces my view.
Have you ever been exit interviewed? Ever done it to anyone? What’s your advice to managers (or employees) about this practice?