The Exit Interview and Beyond

April 7, 2008 by Ben Sayers

Always an interesting component of the CEO’s role is the summarization of one’s employment at the time of departure. These are usually quite different when the employee is leaving on their own versus when they have been terminated. We conduct exit interviews whenever possible to determine the reasons for the change from the employee perspective and to learn how we can improve if necessary.

“The grass is greener.” Often times people leave the company because they feel that there is a more suitable opportunity elsewhere. In many companies I am sure this is true; at VoIP Supply the owners and managers work very hard to create an environment where people can grow their own green grass and not feel a need to leave. If the greener grass is more money for less work, responsibility and accountability then there will always be a short term gig with skeletons in the closet. This is not a new concept and sometimes there may well be greener grass depending on where you are coming from. Many have left VoIP Supply to pursue greener pastures. Most have come back to seek their old spot or continue their quest, also embarrassed to return once they found that the grass was green but spoiled.

“I was not treated fairly.” What is the benchmark for fairness? It is pretty self explanatory yet there are different measurements based on experience, responsibility, competence, expectations, seniority and level of compensation. Being treated fairly, at least at VoIP Supply, is generally an issue of perception. Not liking the way you were treated is different than not being treated fairly. Times change, people change and the needs of the business change; as a result it can often be seen as unfair when something that was acceptable or tolerated 12 months ago is no longer going to cut it. When the needs, attitude, and direction of the company are in direct opposition of your own needs, attitude and agenda; that is when it becomes easy to take a stance of not being treated fairly. It takes a lot of time and energy to fairly and consistently manage 65 people, and to work to ensure management is on the same page when it comes to fairness and consistency. In short, fairness is often based on perception and not reality, and it is a two-way street where fairness must go both ways – in the reality wagon.

“Too much was asked of me.” America has built an economy where too much is asked of everyone, work weeks are no longer 40 hours long and the expectation is that everyone is to perform at a comparable level, even after a superstar comes in and raises the bar. VoIP Supply is not too different, as a lot is asked and expected of everyone; the difference lies in understanding an individual’s capabilities versus attitude and drive. When someone quits because “too much was asked of them,” it is always a sign of a poor attitude, lack of motivation or unwillingness to be part of a fast-paced, rapidly growing, constantly evolving environment. You know what? That’s ok; the world needs those people too, just not here at VoIP Supply. Those driven to succeed, grow and be successful are held in extremely high regard.

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