Following up on the previous blog...
The exit interview went really well, far better than I expected.
There was a genuine sense of relief, of a massive weight being lifted from the guys' shoulders.
Having covered all of the points and questions on a fairly unimaginative Exit Interview form; where the emphasis is skewed more to protecting the company's HR and training processes and ensuring that CYA(cover your ar**) is in place for our ever growing litigious employment culture in the UK. I took the opportunity to explore how he had gotten into sales and where he felt he would look to develop his career now. It turns out that his dad and older brother are both very successful in sales and that it was more than expected that he would follow in their footsteps... where have I heard that before... doctors, lawyers follow on in the family tradition. Massive pressure, an awful way to treat your offspring. And he just can't do it... it's been screwing him up for all of that time, and finally he is free because someone has actually bother to care enough to tell him. His skill set makes him well suited to face to face customer relations, helping people resolve issues and problem resolution, all associated with sales skills but without the pressure of closing deals to deadlines and target achievement. He is going to take a break with a holiday in Greece coming up and look at a career in this field, away from B2B capital goods... probably more retail focussed. I've offered to help him put his CV together to reflect where his skill set can be of real benefit to prospective employers if he wants.
Always a sting in the tail though... not from the interview but just another manager's reaction to the time I took on the exit interview itself.
'You were a long time in the meeting room with James, I thought it was an exit interview?'
'Only takes me 15 minutes to do them'
'Don't you think it's your job to help them, counsel them if they need it?'
'Nah, just get 'em out the door mate, and move on'
Mind you probably explains why he has a staff attrition rate of almost 50% in his team... hmm.