Tell me as early as possible – Provide a policy that any employee who quits will be guaranteed to be paid for up to 4 weeks (or whatever time period you want notice of) after they quit.
Finish what you have started & Don’t slack around – Tell your leaving employees how much you appreciate them working for you and remind them that you really count on them ending strong until the end.
Complete the paperwork - Make the paperwork as easy as possible. I'm not sure I have ever had to fill out paperwork when leaving a job.
No outbursts please – This should go without saying.
Give honest feedback – This isn't realistic and shouldn't be asked of quiting employees. It just makes the next point that much harder. As a manager/owner of a small company it is your responsibility to keep a constant dialogue going with employees, if you fail at that you will not know what is going on. Asking for employees to fill you in on what is happening is a problem.
Stay in touch – As the former employer, the street goes both ways. Send an email every once in a while.
I work for a consulting company and am currently not doing any client work. I accepted a job offer 2 weeks ago, but didn't tell my company until this past Friday. When I put in my 2 week notice, my company informed me that I would only be needed for one week. They effectively stole a weeks worth of pay from me because I tried to give adequate notice.
Now I understand that since I was currently not with a client that I was costing the company money, so I see their point of view from a financial stand point. But the message the company said to me was that I shouldn't have given them advance notice, and should have told them the week of that I was quitting.
I would advise people to give 2 weeks notice and not a week more if they are not heavily involved in a critical project.
Posting under a throw away since my account has personal information and I don't wish to bad mouth my former company.
Re: Telling as early as possible.
In Israel we have a global policy of a month's notice. This gives both employees and employers the time to tie up all of the loose ends. When I first heard about the US policy of same-day-termination, I was pretty shocked. It sounded both cruel to the employee and impractical for the employer, along with being extremely demoralizing.
Find out how long you need from each employee before they leave and put that in the contract. Some employees can even give more / less than a month, some employees can also provide the option of coming back for a day or two when needed to help out or give over-the-phone support for a limited time (all paid, of course).
As far as telling as early as possible - this is not something that you can rationally expect from an employee. If I'm not happy where I am and feel like I can't improve it, I will not come up to my employer and tell them I'm looking for another job (which is the earliest possible). I might not be able to find another position for months or I might change my mind and by that time my current employer will have changed their minds about me drastically.
Leaving with long notice is doable when there's a great deal of trust - and I done it. But the most common reason I quit is that I've lost all faith in either the company or my boss's ability to play fair. (Usually because of economic conditions.)
And leaving honest feedback when heading out the door is literally impossible if you'd like to keep your boss as a contact. Saying mean things, even if they are true, is damaging at what is a fragile point in the relationship.
I found I was able to give a whole big pile of feedback on a meeting when I told my superior I wasn't really satisfied and was looking around. I gave a whole list of things to improve. Honestly it should have happened sooner, but that's on both me and the boss.
EDIT: It seems I interpreted the words "honest feedback" much differently than other people in this thread.
I'm not suggesting that people become habitual complainers. Rather, I'm suggesting that people learn the fine art of conveying frustrations and problems -- typically, along with proposed solutions -- as they occur. You're much more likely to get an adequate resolution if you speak up while the issue is still timely and addressable. And sometimes, hey, the issue can't or won't be resolved -- at which point, you can happily mention it in your exit interview, and nobody should be surprised.
The point is, exit interviews shouldn't be chances to get it all off your chest. If you're walking into an exit interview with a bunch of things you haven't mentioned previously, then you've possibly missed an opportunity or two. (Exception, as previously stated: your workplace is particularly hostile to dissent, extremely political, strongly favors "cheerleader" types, etc.).
Basically, one shouldn't find himself leaving a job over something that may conceivably have been correctible. He should leave when a problem is clearly intractible, and by "clearly," I mean he's attempted to address it and made zero headway.
Tell me as early as possible
Why? So security can show me the door today and I'm unexpectedly without a paycheck for weeks? Although OP may not do this, lots of place do. Beware.
Finish what you have started
The more I leave unfinished, the greater my revenue opportunity (via consulting).
Don’t slack around
OK. As long as you pay me and thank me for all the extra work and overtime. Oh wait, that may be one if the reasons I'm leaving.
Complete the paperwork
"Paperwork" is your albatross, not mine, so I simply don't care.
No outbursts please
This should always be true anyway.
Give honest feedback
Be careful. "Honest feedback" is high risk, low reward. There's a good chance you're leaving because your "honest feedback" has been ignored before. Why should now be different.
Stay in touch
Pay me to. See "Finish what you have started" above. You're in business. So am I.
Frankly, if I was inclined to be nice enough to comply with OP's requests, I'd probably be staying on. Too many employers are in a time warp, creating situations that force good people to move on and then pretending they never happened with posts like this. It's too late for this, soon-to-be ex-employer. Better to just let lame ducks finish their commitment and focus on their futures.
> Why? So security can show me the door today and I'm unexpectedly without a paycheck for weeks? Although OP may not do this, lots of place do. Beware.
This happened to a friend VERY recently, and it changed the way I think about this. I had always assumed it happens, but I had never met someone who it happened to.
Myself though, I had previously worked at a 4-person company and gave them 4-weeks notice (the company I was going to was OK with this, and even saw it as a good thing that I wanted to tie up loose ends and ensure a smooth transition).
Really, it all depends on the situation. Just make sure you know the situation.
> Be careful. "Honest feedback" is high risk, low reward. There's a good chance you're leaving because your "honest feedback" has been ignored before. Why should now be different.
Could you elaborate? I've never understood the risk, except for the possibility of losing out on a reference (though, you may have allies in the company would give you a favorable reference anyways)
You never want to burn a bridge, or leave on bad terms, or fade away entirely. Especially since there is so much fluidity in this industry, and you never really know a) who knows whom, and b) when someone you used to work with will be working with you again.
The ability to compartmentalize -- to separate the negative emotions evoked by a terrible job from the aspects of the job that may have been worthwhile -- is not easy to master. But it's a great skill to have.
If you want your employee to treat you well when they're departing, treat them well beforehand.
When you are leaving, never, ever give honest feedback. Say everything is great, and you just wanted a change. Employers say that they want honest feedback, but they really don't, because the truth hurts.
Case in point, I left a previous company because the founders screwed up a potential acquisition. I had no confidence in upper managment, and I thought they were running the company into the ground. I had worked there 3 years and I gave them honest feedback as to why I was leaving. Not rude, mind you, but I told them exactly that I was leaving because I felt like upper management wasn't good enough to run the company, and that I needed to leave because I was worried there was going to be subsequent layoffs. I ended up being right on both accounts.
Recently, there was a drastic change in management, and I felt like the prospects for working for the company had changed, and I thought just for fun I would re-apply and see if there were any jobs that I would be interested in. I got only one phone screen, despite applying to a bunch of different areas, and in the middle of the phone screen, the interviewer had mentioned some of the things I had said in my exit interview. So it was obvious the exit interview was added to my employee file, and to some degree, I was "blacklisted".
I'm fine being blacklisted, I knew the consequences of being honest with my feedback, and I'm not owed anything, but my point is that there is no benefit to being honest EVER to your employer. It's much better to simply say everything was great, and to move on. It's to your advantage to keep all of your options open, and by giving honest feedback, you are closing out some of those options. The best you get by giving honest feedback is you get to temporarily scratch an itch, and you never know when in the future you might need to play those cards.
There isn't a right and wrong answer here. Sometimes it's best to give honest feedback, sometimes it's best to lie or avoid the question. It all depends on the person asking for feedback and the company's culture. It's never a good idea to burn bridges and if giving honest feedback cannot happen without burning a bridge, avoid it.
Additionally, there are probably opportunities to reshape your criticisms in such a manner to not offend. Some people are naturally good at this and others are naturally terrible at it. If you're not good at it, it's a fantastic skill to work on.
I've seen many rounds of layoffs in different companies. I've been laid off once.
None, not one, of the people laid off were "told as early as possible" they were about to be laid off. Almost all of them were told 2 hours before they were shown out the door.
I will never tell my employer I'm quitting "as early as possible". I will them them only after I have the next job contract signed and I know my start date. And I will tell them at the last possible moment, so that when they escort me out of the office, as they VERY often do, I will minimize the disruption to my income.
You're 100% correct here. Anything less than this is stupid.
And I will tell them at the last possible moment, so that when they escort me out of the office, as they VERY often do, I will minimize the disruption to my income.
Give 2 weeks. It's standard. It's to protect your reputation. If they relieve you of your notice and still pay you, fine. If they stop paying you as well, then they're idiots, because they're risking their reputation over a completely inconsequential sum of money.
The problem is that my observations of corporate America leave me very cynical about your requests. After 23 years of seeing the exact opposite behaviour, it gets harder to believe that the company cares about what you think or feel. I have learned that when the words and the actions don't sync, you believe the actions.
Now, HN is likely mostly populated by young hipster developers who work at fun trendy places where playing nice is appreciated, so I'm just an old dinosaur roaring off in the distance. I accept that as my role. :-(
Here's why: it is in your own interest to leave good impression, for the obvious practical reasons. A hearty "screw you, idiots!" might feel good for a moment but it won't do any good and ultimately hurts your own interest. Jerks do not change because of feedback, they might change in response to people mass quitting.
If you want to get even do it by a) being awesome somewhere else and b) keeping the bozos unaware of the reasons why people leave in droves.
Yeah, b) contradicts the article - IMHO honest feedback should only be given to those who can take it and what's even more important, you should only consider quitting after your feedback falls on deaf ears.
If the employer needs more than two weeks to be ready for an employee to leave, then the employer needs to be better organized or they need to ask for longer resignation timeframes. Of course, the two times I was ever "let go" (both from re-structuring), I had zero advance notice, so that doesn't seem very balanced.
Nice in theory, but some employers will walk you out the door as soon as you tell them you're quitting, so you better have a good idea what kind of company you're working for before you do this.
> Give honest feedback
this has been beaten to death. Don't do it. Its like breaking up with somebody, everybody wants to know why you're breaking up with them, until they actually know then they'll think you're an asshole for telling them. Human beings are just weird like that.
Stock answer, "its just a better opportunity for this point in my career", vague enough to make everybody happy.
As an employee I am not your friend. I'm leasing you time out of my life to get your work done. Being polite and amicable is part and parcel of ensuring that transaction goes smoothly but do not be mistaken: you're not getting an invitation to dinner and we're not going on a camping trip together. The deal is in the contract and my obligations end there.
More often than not I tend to go above and beyond the letter of the contract but I've worked for employers who take it personally when I chose not to. I don't have the time or patience for such petulant behaviour and let those bridges burn. My advice to employers is to not get personally invested in your employees; anything beyond the contract is a bonus and you should never expect it. The contract is the contract and as long as everyone is doing their part there's nothing more to it than that.
If you're talking about "colleagues," then I assume everyone involved has significant first-class equity in the venture. This is a completely different work dynamic and requires much more care if one tries to leave the relationship. In such a case even more attention to the details of the contract is required.
That being said you should reconsider working "all-nighters." Chronic sleep deprivation has some significant deleterious effects to your mental and physical health. As my intellect is my money-maker I do everything I can to preserve and enhance it. One of the easiest things I can do is get a good night's sleep.
Found with: http://www.hnsearch.com/search#request/all&q=title%3Alea...
IMHO, the linked article is good for an individual leaving a positive situation with positive experiences and positive opportunities, likely surrounded by positive people.
Many commenters seem to be stating that most situations are not all win-win situations. Many times employees or employers are disgruntled at best, angry/fed up/desperate at worst. The article is great for situations where all is hunky dory; in reality, that's usually not the case.
Exceptions exist, of course. For example, maybe you knew beforehand what was wrong but were either unable or unwilling to change it. Not much to do there, either.
All in all, "honest feedback" at the end of the relationship is a little too late.
I was of course very polite, I didn't want to burn any bridges and could still consider going back there some day, but I also was honest when telling them that main reason (that was in their control) for me quitting was that there was no development process (i.e. scrum) and the first thing on their to-do list should be to hire a good head of development.
They did this a year after I left and from what I've heard they have kept the rest of my team and even attracted some new talent. Maybe there are cultural factors at play as well (I'm in Stockholm).
They invited me back later for beers and starcraft 2, so I guess they don't hate me too much :)
Here is a solution to the situation where your newly ex'd employer wants to march you out the door:
Arrange with your new employer to start as early as you can when you accept the job offer. Most employers I've interviewed with would like you to start as soon as possible. When they ask "When can you start?" tell them that you can start no later than 2 weeks but depending on when you can wrap up stuff with your old employer, you can start earlier.
If you want your employees to be nice to you, stop shafting them at every turn. If somebody works somewhere, then a fair percentage of the business should be owned by them. Level the playing field and there will be no need for articles such as these.
Also, if you are worth it, the employer will share the profit with you, AKA equity, stock options, profit sharing, performance bonuses, etc.
Most people are not exposed to A and B since they go through high school and then get an average paying job pushing buttons or carrying bricks. The vast majority of people do not have access to C because they are too busy working their 9-5's and are barely earning enough to survive, let alone save. Assuming that they do manage to scrape something together, business is a risky venture to spend it on. It's a safer bet to raise a kid and send them to college.
Not to mention that mindsets are built out of culture and the people you're surrounded by. Most humans are surrounded by emphatically uninspirational and unmotivated individuals - this just brings them down further.
That's exactly why I think that 90% of people are getting a raw deal. The opportunities are certainly there - just not for them.
We are privileged in that we do have the resources and expertise to start something. I'm simply saying that if the ones who do not have these privileges seem bitter, it's because they have an excellent reason to be. The other thing I'm saying is that being in a position of power means that you're supposed to share with the people who made you your fortune, not pay them a pittance so that they can afford their rent and credit card repayments.
Obviously, it makes sense to formally quit, and finish any tax and payment related papers. But is there a good reason why the employer should request signing any other lengthy contracts at termination? "Our legal department told us to" is the worst kind of argument - lawyers typically push to protect whoever is paying them from anything possible, not to clear up things in a balanced and reasonable manner. And if the employee is leaving, there should not be any loose ends that require additional contracts.
(note: I'm not US based)
"Tell me as early as possible" - most of the time you'll get exactly the amount of time that is contractually obliged. If you want more, write it in the contract. Employees want their own flexibility and few people want to stick around after they have pretty much told their employer "I don't want to be here". Most employers don't like people hanging around either (they are likely to start encouraging others to leave too).
"Give honest feedback" - Its incredibly hard to phrase feedback (in a constructive way) without directly referring to people as the source (which nobody wants to do - burning bridges and all). If an employee finds a way to do this for you, it is pretty exceptional. If you are lucky, you might, after asking some pointed questions, get some short outbursts of "I don't like being managed by person X" or "company process Y pains me", and you'll have to do the hard work of figuring out what it means. Thats if you are lucky. Most of the time people will just rather not say anything at all.
As for feed back, the fact is, you're leaving for a reason. You're, so to be, former employer really is, generally, interested in the reasons for your decision. Especially if it's "I don't like being managed by person X." Sometimes it's just an isolated personality conflict, often, though, there's bigger issues and your employeer isn't interested in loosing more good employees due to poor management.
I've also been in a situation where one of the reasons was "I don't like being managed by person X," and conveying that in a polite, non-judgmental, way wasn't difficult. While my exit interview was with that manager, I also requested a meeting with the CEO (small startup, so it really just a matter of "Hey, <CEO>, can we do a one-on-one before I leave).
In fact, I would argue that the most important point on this list is the one about feedback.
I disagree. There absolutely exists not only a time to burn bridges, but to nuke them from orbit -- just to make sure.
Sorry, but I've seen people go through some toxic employment situations (i.e. breach of contract, health and safety violations, discrimination), and sometimes there is absolute merit in ensuring that you'll never have to deal with certain individuals again while still going about it in a professional manner (i.e. hiring a lawyer). It's a harsh measure, but it's also guaranteed to get the desired result.
Moreover, there are a number of situations where the bridge is often burnt by default, no matter how pleasant you try to be in the situation. Usually when a lawyer becomes involved, the bridge is often immediately burnt.
Could anyone post the link to that Ask HN post the OP mentions? I can't find it, but I'm interested in reading the discussion.
Actual link: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4908815