Whenever an employee gives us that dreaded ‘resignation letter’ we tend to go through an emotional roller coaster. Although the exact sequence of emotions will vary from person to person and from situation to situation, there seems to be a fair amount of commonality to generalize the event as follows:
Nobody likes to be rejected
In the dating world, yes that of romance, there are two ways to get rid of a wrong girlfriend or boyfriend. Either you say, “I break up” or you create such an environment that the other person is forced to say, “I quit”. No matter how bad the relationship was, breakups are never pleasant.
The point of bringing in the parallel of romance here, is that before we ran organizations as species, we needed to find and retain mates. In order to understand the emotional aspect of getting a resignation letter, we must first understand where the feeling is coming from.
Say, someone has been dating for two years thinking it will turn into a marriage with 50th anniversary, then the other one, sends a resignation letter with effect from next month.
Disillusionment is what happens. Sometimes the sense of betrayal is so high, that suicide is a common way out, if not a life-long mistrust towards the opposite sex.
The point we are trying to drive here is that if there was not much emotions involved, the best thing to do would be to conduct an “exit interview” with that person and ask:
Prerequisite for Exit interview
Yes, you got the point. After the resignation letter, the logical thing to do is to conduct an ‘exit interview’ but if we are emotionally bound like in a romantic affair, then we cannot even think of it: like in the above hilarious situation of one lover asking those questions to his estranged lover.
First and foremost we must change our mindset that employees are forever, or that they will keep their commitments spoken during the interview. Only in this state of detachment can we do the right thing when that ‘resignation letter’ drops in our inbox.
Importance of conducting Exit Interview in an organization
Ground rules of exit interview
Many times doing the right thing is the hardest thing. Most employers get hung on level the lower five emotions discussed above like loss, betrayal, anger, disbelief and shock when handed over the resignation letter. Do not get too attached to any employee. Once they leave you, do the logical thing: conduct an exit interview; if not by you, by a trusted person.
Authors: Mohan Ojha & Manohar Man Shrestha