7

I am a software engineer for a Scandinavian company. I recently accepted a new position at a different company and will leave my current job in the next month.
I have great respect for the senior leadership of this Scandinavian company, but my reasons for leaving are, first, due to the company's lack of interest to invest in in-house software engineering, second, because I want develop different types of software, and a distant third, because I think my current boss is dishonest.

This company does not conduct exit interviews, and I do not have any history of speaking to the senior leadership directly as this company follows a regimented "chain of command."

Should I write these senior leaders and provide them with feedback on the job, or just let it go?

  • 8
    Probably not. You want to be remembered fondly, not as the dude that emailed senior leadership about his boss. Write a review on glassdoor.com and move on. – Garrison Neely Apr 7 '14 at 17:17
  • Why would you consider doing such a thing if you're not asked to do so? Do you have an ax to grind? Something you think they need to hear? An altruistic motive perhaps? I'm sure if they feel they need your opinion, they'll ask for it. If you need to get something off your chest, post an anonymous rant somewhere... or perhaps your head to your local bar... – Vector Apr 7 '14 at 22:02
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of When makes sense to provide honest feedback in an exit interview? – gnat Sep 18 at 10:55
3

I wouldn't offer any specifics in an email. Without a face to face conversation, whatever you say could be taken negatively.

I would email either Sr manager or preferably the HR department and suggest they conduct exit interviews. You have a lot of feedback to offer and they "should" want to know about it. You want to develop different kinds of software-it is what is-no hard feelings.

Not sure how your boss's dishonesty affects the company, but there seems to be some things in place that prevented you from saying something while being employed. Maybe senior manager instructs him/her to lie? Regardless, emailing people you have no previous experience communicating with is very difficult. You don't want to be seen as being out to get your boss.

  • See comment below. – user18539 Apr 8 '14 at 0:24
3

In general, the advice I've always heard from everywhere is that whether in an exit-interview an informal conversation, or even in an a situation like yours where advice isn't being solicited, the best course of action is to say as little as possible. Basically say nothing of note, and avoid specifics. Especially when the case is that you're leaving for a better (or more suitable/compatible) offer elsewhere, the best thing to do is just say that. It's honest, vague and not going be taken as offensive or negative.

The reason for this advice to generally say nothing is because you're in a situation where you have nothing to gain, but could potentially burn your bridges or hurt your reputation if you say something negative, or something you say is perceived negatively, or someone takes offense at it. In the best case, you gain exactly nothing, and in the worst case, you hurt yourself... so from a cost/benefit or risk/reward perspective, the math on this type of situation is incredibly easy, and overwhelmingly in favor of saying nothing.

If you're really interested in leaving feedback or suggestions for whatever reason (Which again, is not recommended), the best way to do it is anonymously. Write up what you want to say now, stash it somewhere safe, and come back to it in a few months. If you still want to send it off, you can (of course, keeping in mind that you don't want to say things that would personally identify you, or come off like you're bashing the place or any person in particular). But again, since you have nothing to gain from sending off your anonymous correspondence, I would advise against it. Writing it out anyway can be a helpful exercise in introspection and may even be cathartic, so just gathering your thoughts is not a bad idea. Sitting on it for a while gives you time to make sure you're not acting out of emotion, the passage of time helps anonymize you, and you also get more time to consider whether it's really a good idea to offer feedback to your former employer. (I've gone both ways, myself, but choose not to offer significant feedback the vast majority of the time, for what that's worth.)

  • Thank you for the thoughtful feedback. I hadn't considered leaving a note on Glassdoor about the company anonymously -- a good tip particularly if I had something negative to say. Yet, my feedback for this company is not negative -- it's constructive. I think the best choice is to write an email to the head of HR suggesting and offer to participate in an exit interview if he would appreciate some constructive feedback. I'd talk about why this company should invest in in-house software engineering and mention nothing about the boss. If not, I'll let it go. – user18539 Apr 8 '14 at 0:22
  • This is really excellent advice, after having a face-to-face truth telling on exit with a previous CIO I can see both sides to the problem. Saying nothing is the recommended outcome. – Andrew Russell Apr 8 '14 at 6:41
  • Remember: That time correlates everything, so if they see a nasty anon comment soon after you leave, you will get noticed personally, and look worse than if you said it in the open. – Andrew Russell Apr 8 '14 at 6:42
0

I find it's better to discuss feedback in review meetings before it comes to switching jobs. If everyone is working together to make the company better, it's great to give each other feedback.

But not unsolicited feedback on your way out is like breaking up with someone and telling them all of the things they should change about them self. You are moving on, they can too in what ever direction suits them.

0

You have nothing to gain from being hard-nosed in an exit interview. After all, you are leaving this company behind. Their problems cease being your problems the moment you say "goodbye."

You want to (1) work in a company with a stronger in-house team, and you want to (2) work on different types of products. Those are perfectly good and common reasons to take a new job. If they ask, you can explain briefly and politely. Otherwise, don't say anything.

You want to (3) get away from a manager because you believe he's dishonest. Some comments about this:

  • You probably are not the only person at the company who believes this. Therefore, your information will probably not help the company much.
  • If you say anything about this, they will remember you for saying those things, not for the work you did.
  • You gain nothing by talking about this.
  • Choosing to be a "whistleblower" is a significant, life-altering, choice. If you do choose to speak up about this, read about "whistleblowing" first.

In my opinion, your best choice is to say nothing, and certainly nothing about the dishonest manager.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.