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Exit Interview – Parting Ways With A Note

Written by: Narghiza Ergashoval, CPA, EMBA, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Narghiza Ergashoval

While most interviews are conducted to assess the suitability of a candidate for a particular role, there is another type of interview that takes place when an employee decides to leave a company. This interview is often referred to as an "exit interview" and it can be just as important, if not more so, than the initial job interview.

Crop businessman giving contract to woman to sign

Exit interviews are meant to provide employers with valuable feedback about their company, culture, and performance and can help identify any areas that need improvement. However, they can also be a bittersweet channel of "liberating release" for existing employees providing feedback capturing a snapshot in time instead of the complete journey of the tenure; after all, exit interviews usually mean that someone is leaving the team, the event is in itself not a positive one in nature. Nevertheless, exit interviews are an essential part of any business and businesses should be encouraged to conduct them in a balanced and meaningful manner that would ultimately benefit both parties.

Progressive evil and how it can impact an employer

Progressive evil is toxic exit feedback that can have a damaging and detrimental impact on an employer and its remaining employees. It occurs when departing employees leave by providing lopsided feedback about the employer, usually not of a beneficial nature with little room for improvement. This is an issue as not only does it damage the employer's reputation, but it can also shape other employees' understanding of the company if the grapevine is not counteracted.

How employees can leave their jobs with a toxic download of negative feedback

When employees decide to move on from their jobs, there can be a real danger of them providing an 'exit interview' laced with negative feedback reflecting a snapshot in time or projecting a single event. This is what's known as 'progressive evil', where departing workers suddenly use the opportunities given to them to express grudges or perceived wrongs against the employer. In the worst-case scenario, this can result in a descent into character assassination and even false claims about the organization. It's not just unhelpful for those who take the brunt of these damaging rantings it's also unfair to colleagues who have done nothing wrong but may find themselves unfairly tarnished by association. Leaving with grace is important so that everyone is treated fairly and respectfully, rather than leaving with a toxic download of negative feedback which ultimately harms more people than it helps.

Ways for employers to prevent or mitigate the effects of progressive evil

In order to prevent or mitigate the effects of progressive evil, employers should proactively engage with their employees. This can be done through clearly established channels of communication and feedback, employee engagement initiatives to understand employees’ needs, and creating an environment of respect and trust amongst employers and employees. Such measures will enable employers to show their employees that they are appreciated and valued. Employers should also ensure that any negative feedback given is responded to carefully such that it acknowledges any valid points respectfully while recognizing the shared goal of making things better for all parties involved. With these steps, employers can stem the tide of further progressive evil within their organization.

Creating a positive work environment that encourages employee retention and positive employee experience

A positive work environment can be useful to employers in more ways than one. It encourages employee loyalty, which reduces turnover and the potential for employees to take a “toxic download” of negative feedback with them when they leave. Employers should strive to create an atmosphere that promotes collaboration and rewards innovation. Offering competitive wages and benefits, listening to employee feedback, creating opportunities for growth through development courses, and recognizing achievement are all key components to creating a thriving workplace culture that results in higher employee satisfaction and engagement which leads to improved morale, success, and retention of staff members.

Progressive good

All in all, progressive evil is a costly and damaging force for employers, but with the right focus, morale, and work environment it can be prevented or at least reduced. Employers should strive to create an environment that values employees' input and opinions while also recognizing their efforts and rewarding them accordingly. Furthermore, employers can provide channels through which disagreements or concerns can be voiced safely and constructively. Keeping communication open between employer and employee will build trust between each other; this in turn reduces the chances of productive workers leaving before their contracts are up.

By seeing and recognizing progressive evil as more than just an exit route for an unhappy employee, employers can work towards creating a better work environment for everyone involved but most importantly acknowledge and take stock of all the "progressive good" events that transpired through the year.

Progressive good is where a good employee leaves and either opts out of providing feedback or provides neutral or sugar-coated feedback to keep the company's morale intact. This is often a genuine loss to the business possibly left completely "untranslated". By recognizing both progressive evil and progressive good, employers can have a better and more balanced understanding of their workplace, culture, interrelationships, and the outlook of the entire employee experience landscape.

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Narghiza Ergashoval Brainz Magazine

Narghiza Ergashoval, CPA, EMBA, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Experienced finance executive with significant achievements in property, mining, resources, chemicals, manufacturing, infrastructure, construction, and engineering. Demonstrated ability to manage sophisticated portfolios and drive targeted performance through business partnerships. Strong negotiator focused on achieving win-win outcomes and expertise in building effective relationships with stakeholders. Personable, articulate, and highly motivated individual with a keen focus on achieving broader business objectives



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