Are You Combining Off-Boarding and Exit Interviews? Cease and Desist!
Yes, yes, we know you are busy. We know about the pressure to streamline and multitask these days too. But even though it may seem sensible on the surface to combine an exiting employee’s off-boarding and exit interviews, we do not recommend doing it. In fact, we think these two HR functions should never be combined. Ever.
Just think about it for a moment. How likely is it that someone is going to open up and have a frank discussion with you about their time at your company or their reasons for leaving in the same conversation that is formally (and even in some cases contentiously) going over things like their remaining paid time off, COBRA rules and regulations or signed, legally binding clauses in their contracts?
So, let the off-boarding meeting be a time to remind the exiting employee about their obligations to protect the confidentiality of your information, of their need to comply with any restrictive agreements and cover HR issues such as return of company property, COBRA, paid time off, and the like. If you include these matters in an exit interview, it will take away the opportunity to gain trust from the exiting employee, and it’s their willingness to open up and give frank and honest feedback that you want.
That’s not to say that busy manager or to an overextended HR team have to minimize the importance of interviewing exiting employees. It does mean that it might be time to re-evaluate your exit interview program and strategies.
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