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Chapter 14. Bye-Bye Buddy > “I quit.” - Pg. 174

Bye-Bye Buddy 174 Just as in an employment or appraisal interview, it is best to start a separation interview by building rapport. Questioning should begin with a general type of question that will not put the member on the defensive. The question of why he or she is leaving the company should never be the first one asked. A better start might be: "Tell me about the kind of work you've been doing in your most recent assignment. " This will get the conversation going, but will also enable the interviewer to evaluate whether this is the kind of work one might expect to do in that job. One reason people leave jobs is that it was not what they thought they'd be doing. A market researcher might be spending all her time on statistical compilations when she expected to be doing depth analyses. Here are some important questions that should be asked in a separation interview and some clues as to what should be looked for to interpret the responses: 1. Questions about the job What did you like most and least about the job? Are these job factors or personal factors? The answer provides insight into the job by the pattern of answers obtained from people who leave it. How do you feel about your compensation? Many people leave their jobs for another with higher pay. Others feel they should have made more money even though they were being paid the going rate for the work. This will enable the interviewer to compare the methods used to give increases with those of other companies in the area or your industry. FYI A recent survey of managerial and professional personnel by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed that the 40-hour work week was dead for so-called knowledge workers. Most respondents said that they worked nine-hour days, another hour or more at home, and at least two hours on weekends. How do you feel about the progress you've made in this company? A good number of people claim they have left their jobs because of lack of opportunity for advancement. Often this masks the real reasons for leaving. However, it's important to ex- amine what a person might have expected in terms of growth in the company and relate it to the real opportunity for advancement in the job she or he held. How do you feel about working conditions? Companies have picked up information from this question about matters that were unimportant in their eyes, but that annoyed employees to the point of causing them to leave. Often these are easily correctable. Questions about supervision 2. What did you like most (least) about your team leader's style of managing? As many of the problems existing in organizational life are due to problems with supervisors, it's important to probe this factor, particularly if there is a large turnover in that department. It will bring out whether the team leader is dogmatic, stubborn, or authoritarian, and whether he or she encourages participation.