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I've accepted an offer at a new company, and will be making about 40% more than I currently do. The exit survey from my current employer asks, "if you don't mind sharing," what company I'm going to and what my total compensation will be.

I don't see a downside to disclosing this information to my current employer. It seems like the worst outcome is they do nothing with it. The best case would be they use it to make better-informed compensation decisions in the future. They recently gave most employees a significant "market rate adjustment" based on feedback from an engagement survey.

I suppose some people wouldn't want to disclose this for reasons of personal privacy. That's fair enough, but it's not a concern for me. Are there any other reasons not to answer the question?

  • You could be a bit more ambiguous about your answer - "I will receive over 15% increase, which would be sufficient for anyone to make the change." You don't need to share the exact amount for them to know they might be underpaying you for your work. – Tryb Ghost Jun 26 at 15:36
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Are there any other reasons not to answer the question?

I'd say no, there aren't any other reasons.

Disclosing that information is completely your choice.

The only reason I can think this would be a bad idea is if your new company somehow forbids or restricts you from disclosing such information. In that case, I suggest you check your contract to see if there is something that prevents you from sharing it.

2

I don't see a downside to disclosing this information to my current employer.

If it doesn't hurt to share the information, do it. It may help future employees.

Are there any other reasons not to answer the question?

As personal privacy isn't a concern for you in this case, there isn't a pressing reason for you to not share it.

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Are there any other reasons not to answer the question?

Not really. The following are all I could think of, and none of them are very strong:

  • Possible (but unlikely) that your new contract forbids sharing that information publicly - this is much more likely to be the case in defence / security roles;
  • They could hit back with a counter-offer to try to stop you leaving, and then get argumentative if you refuse (unlikely, but it certainly happens);
  • If they ever have a data breach, that's one more piece of information that's available about you (though this really boils down to data privacy, which you said you don't care about.)
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Look at the two statements from your question:

They recently gave most employees a significant "market rate adjustment" based on feedback from an engagement survey.

and

[I] will be making about 40% more than I currently do.

You got the 40% bump by leaving. The increase due to the engagement survey didn't really help you get to market rate.

You ask for reasons besides privacy and state

the best case would be they use it to make better-informed compensation decisions in the future

I don't find the best case very compelling.

Now I understand why they might want to know. If they are trying to improve their company then knowing why people are leaving is important.

I just don't think I have an obligation to tell them how much I will be making. I assume that some people will be able to rationalize that the company will be doing good things with the data, but the skeptic in me says it isn't worth the time to provide the information they want. On that last day I am generally more focused on getting out the door.

They also may want to know where you are going in case it is a competitor and they want to make sure that you are not in violation of a non-compete clause. But if that was the case they wouldn't rely on an optional question on an exit survey.

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    I agree, in that I'm generally distrustful of such exit interviews/surveys. I find that most companies are less interested in improving, and more worried about whether your complaints might become public knowledge among other employees, or in the industry at large. Not to say that some might not honestly want to do better by their employees, but I somehow find it difficult to believe that they would seriously consider giving everyone a 40% raise. If anything, they would likely suppress such information from getting out. – AndreiROM Jun 26 at 14:39
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I'm going to roll in with a "dissenting opinion".

In general, unnecessarily disclosing information to your (ex) employer is a Bad Idea. The company is not your friend, and that information will be used to their advantage only.

What you disclose might incidentally help someone out, but it may also harm others. Maybe they'll freeze wages because what they're seeing is close enough for them to deal with whatever turnover would come, instead of going through with planned adjustments.

Giving information to employers is generally like talking to the cops. Don't do it.

Oh, on top of which, as others have said, you might not be allowed to share salary information with another company (but you can probably share with individuals IIRC).

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    check you offer letter and any contractual paperwork you signed with the new employer too. There may be restrictions there, although in the US I believe your freedom of speech protects you from these kinds of restrictions, but that won't prevent your new employer from coming up with another way to fire you. – Bill Leeper Jun 26 at 17:28
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I left a job many years ago because among other things, the holiday leave was pretty poor. In reality, there was quite a bit I didn't like about the job but rather than give a long list of things, I just mentioned this at length in the exit interview. The HR rep conceded that this was something that had been mentioned quite a bit by recent leavers and resolved to do something about it. I just nodded and thought no more about it.

Come the time of the annual reviews, nobody got a pay rise but everybody got an extra day's holiday pay. Most people were quite pleased about this while others complained because they wanted a bit more salary.

If I'm being honest I didn't think anything would happen at all but it did. However, what I didn't expect was that people would complain about the perk. This is the bit you can't predict. You may say there is no harm in divulging the information (and it could end up with people getting paid a bit more in your case) but ultimately it is zero sum game and that cost has to be made up somewhere.

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    It's not a perk when you pay for it.. That company used people's raise money to pay for their extra day, that's not a gift. And even worse it impacts future raises. They were cheap, hope they're out of business by now – user90842 Jun 25 at 23:27
  • @GeorgeM It is easy to jump to that conclusion but the simple fact is some industries run on very thin margins... – Robbie Dee Jun 26 at 8:06
  • Sometimes companies do run on very thin margins. And sometimes companies appear to run on thin margins because the top execs are grabbing most of the profits for themselves. It can be useful to check, if that information is available, before reaching a conclusion. – Ed Grimm Jun 27 at 2:17
  • @EdGrimm Yes, clearly you don't form a conclusion simply from exposure to a single enterprise but actually glean such things when you've been in and around a number of companies within the same industry for some time. – Robbie Dee Jun 27 at 9:59
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If you have a non-compete clause with your old employer it might make it easier for them to research weather you violate it. Also if you know a lot of proprietary, patented, or even not yet patented information, your old company might look closer at your new company. This might impact your new employer negatively

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