I always hated the employee bombshell, “Steve, I’ve got a better job offer so I’m giving you my two weeks notice.” (Always on a Friday afternoon!) From then on it was so easy just to ignore the traitorous employee! After all, I was hurt, angry, rejected and obviously very, very inconvenienced!
However, IF you can get rid of that big ‘chip on your shoulder’ much will be gained by having a non-confrontational Exit Interview with your departing employee. Here’s what happened in my company once I reached out to the “traitor” and had a chat where all I did was LISTEN …
I learned from my past mistakes- This ‘exit interview let me view myself and my company through the eyes of an employee. (At times it was a painful event as they dumped on me!) This new vision was extremely valuable because we usually hired our next worker from the same socio-demographic group as the departing worker. Therefore their needs, attitudes and desires were the same. By learning from my departing employee the mistakes to avoid with his or her replacement I was able to at least slow down future defections.
I also set up clear expectations for the ‘departure phase’- Okay, my employee has stated he or she is leaving. Now what? It was important to let them know what is required of them during this stressful phase and what they should expect of me.
Maybe most importantly, it helped me find any ‘rotten apples’ in my work force- Please don’t be another ‘ostrich with your head in the sand’. If you have more than three non-family employees working in your company the odds are very good that illegal activity is happening on a regular basis right under your nose. (For example, U.S. government statistics state that 1 in 4 American workers abuse alcohol or drugs.)
During my departing worker’s employment they may have been reluctant to ‘rat out’ a fellow employee. But in the exit interview, I found the gloves would sometimes come off because, what the heck, they are leaving anyway! This in turn will motivate you to implement Employee Accountability in your company! (You need to hold your employees accountable and HERE is the why and how!)
So the next time an employee bails out on you, suck it up, humbly sit down with them and listen! And attend SFS: Business Transformation where you receive a complete step-by-step ‘Exit Interview’ procedure along with the ‘questions script’ to ask your employee…