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Things you never want to hear departing staff say



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Whether you’ve had to let someone go, or they’re leaving to pursue opportunities elsewhere, a team member’s last day is never easy. Hopefully, there’s been plenty of time for both parties to hand over or wrap up ongoing projects and to complete the company’s employee departure checklist. That way their last day can be like any other day, albeit filled with less work and more goodbyes.

Of course to many employees leaving a company, their last day feels anything but normal. As a result, a combination of emotions can lead to them saying things they normally never would, and you wish they hadn’t.

Jacquelyn Smith at Business Insider compiled a list of 15 things employees should never say on their last day of work. Not surprisingly, they’re also the things team leaders and HR managers would never want to hear from their departing staff. Below, we’ve listed the top five of most awful things a soon-to-be former employee could say.

1. “One thing I really hated about working here was … “

There’s a time and place for constructive criticism, and someone’s final day on the job isn’t it. Moreover, “hate” is a word you never want to hear in relation to your company to begin with.

If someone does share some harsh criticism you’ve never heard before on their final day, perhaps it’s time to review the feedback opportunities you’re giving staff on an ongoing basis.

2. “Good luck running this place without me!”

Aside from the fact it’s never nice to hear someone boast about themselves, in this case they’re also suggesting you and everyone else on their team are incompetent. Implying the place would fall apart without them isn’t exactly a great morale booster for the rest of the team.

3. “You should consider leaving, too”

First of all, this is just plain rude. More worrying however, is the impact those words could have on the remaining members of the team. Depending on someone’s seniority or simply their place within the team, their words can carry a lot of weight.

4. “I’ll be making way more money”

Whether it’s true or not, hearing a leaving employee boast about their new and improved salary isn’t great. Perhaps you’re aware that you were underpaying them, but couldn’t do anything due to budget constraints. Or perhaps their new role has more responsibilities and therefore comes with a bigger paycheck.

Regardless, hearing someone talk about paycecks on their final day makes it sound like they were just in it for the money.

5. “I’ll be unreachable for a couple weeks”

Although it’s difficult and potentially unfair to tell people they have to be available after their final day, it is very helpful to be able to reach someone. Depending on the job, something might come up that the new hire doesn’t know the answer to, or you might need some background information urgently to be able to proceed with a deal.

ALSO READ: 5 things HR should stop saying (and what we can try instead)

Photo / 123RF



Human Resources Online is heading to Bangkok with the Accelerate HR conference on November 26-27.
HR leaders from Agoda, DKSH, Fonterra, FWD, Kasikornbank, Minor Food, Nissan Motor and more have already confirmed to speak.
Early-bird tickets are still available.

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