Turned in my resignation, skip level manager wants to meet me & HR wants exit interview

Undisclosed zen-art
Nov 4, 2018 31 Comments

I know it's generally a positive thing if skip level manager (who also happens to be VP in my case) wants to meet after you turn in your 2 week notice. However my main concern is that I'm leaving because my manager was not very effective, and there were rampant morale issues under my manager. There have been several exits in recent past, and I'm just another in that list.

I don't want to burn bridges with my manager by talking about the real reason to my skip. At the same time, I want to keep my doors open to returning back in future, perhaps reporting to another manager.

Additionally, HR has also reached out to me to conduct an exit interview.

I don't believe my manager is being targeted in this questioning though since he has been good at managing up, any despite the number of exits, leadership seems to have confidence in him.

What is the best way to handle this situation. Should I just thank him for his support and tell him that it was a career decision, or should I hint towards potential morale issues with my ineffective (IMO) manager?

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TOP 31 Comments
  • New tLFu71
    It's not burning bridges and you should tell your skip/VP exactly why you are leaving (the truth) along with HR. Everyone wants to cry about shitty managers but doesnt want to ever say anything about them so there is at least the potential for the right VP/HR to do something about it. Just by the wording in your post you are clearly working at one of the big players and its not like your going to be blacklisted or likely even remembered for being truthful in your exit interview if you try and return a year+ later.
    Nov 4, 2018 2
    • Undisclosed zen-art
      OP
      Thanks, I agree with the sentiment. My main worry is retaliation since my manager has lots of connections in the valley.
      Nov 4, 2018
    • New tLFu71
      You're likely worried over nothing. While he may have plenty of connections in the valley the actual time investment to really retaliate against someone is pretty considerable. Not to mention even if well connected he doesnt have the pull to blacklist you with other companies. After you put your notice in just tell people you took a position in NYC. Don't tell them where your going that way it isn't even a thought in anyones mind.
      Nov 4, 2018
  • Qualtrics 🏃 🏃
    You don’t want to work with your current manager in the future, right? I don’t see any way you are burning bridge
    Nov 4, 2018 1
    • Undisclosed zen-art
      OP
      It's correct, but valley is a small place, and I've seen people collect feedback from previous manager if they know them. My manager has a lot of connections in the valley as he has worked with several large companies whose employees now work across the valley today. Besides, I may end up working directly or indirectly with my manager in future given how people move constantly here.
      Nov 4, 2018
  • Expedia intelsdead
    Tell the truth about your manager. You wouldn’t have faced all those morale issues if people who exited before you had told the higher ups about your current manager. Man up and stand up for yourself. So that other people in the team don’t have morale issues under him. No company will ever blacklist you for being transparent and giving an honest feedback. If it does that, it’s good for you, you shouldn’t be working for that company anyways.
    Nov 4, 2018 2
    • Undisclosed zen-art
      OP
      Thanks, I agree with the sentiment. My main worry is retaliation since my manager has lots of connections in the valley.
      Nov 4, 2018
    • Clover Health doenfh
      OP, yep, this is why i am soft spoken in exit interviews. Too much risk of retaliation. HR doesn't really care.
      Nov 4, 2018
  • New loulou
    Classic. Keep your mouth shut, say you found a new exciting opportunity and that you felt it was time for you to move forward.

    Letting your grievances out will have no other result than making you feel better for a few minutes, and might very well burn bridges. Whatever happens, you will stop giving a shit within a few moments of leaving - not worth risking anything.

    Be nice, polite, thank them for the opportunities they gave you during your tenure, and get out.
    Nov 4, 2018 0
  • Google Retireded
    If vp and hr are pursuing exit discussions with you this aggressively, they probably already know there is a problem with your manager and they need your help to document these issues.

    If you have any trust in them at all, be really clear with them that you are concerned about retaliation from your manager and give honest, constructive, professional feedback. If you don’t feel like you can trust your vp or hr to have this modicum of professionalism, then don’t.
    Nov 4, 2018 0
  • Undisclosed zen-art
    OP
    Thanks all for the replies. I've decided to tread carefully and say that my decision is mostly from a career view point. I'll hint that I feel career development will be limited in the current organization since there is less clarity about certain things. If the VP chooses to dig further, I may open up; but I want to just give a hint and see if he is interested to know more first.
    Nov 5, 2018 2
    • Microsoft @zzz
      Good call. Be selfish here.
      Nov 5, 2018
    • Amazon Mdizosic
      Great idea OP, if he’s interested he’ll jump on that. But if he’s not you haven’t hurt your position at all
      Nov 5, 2018
  • Google snidely
    Why didn't you just change managers? Sounds like there's more to your desire to go elsewhere than just the manager
    Nov 4, 2018 1
    • Undisclosed zen-art
      OP
      It's not that easy. There are processes to be followed where the current manager needs to be informed prior to me finding opportunity internally. The receiving manager collects feedback from current manager, which I'm not sure will be politics-free in the current situation of the organization.
      Nov 4, 2018
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union 0N10N
    HR is not your friend. I would recommend skipping the interview or using career opportunity as your exit reason.
    Nov 4, 2018 1
    • New tLFu71
      HR is not and is fucking worthless but the skip/VP can and may actually do something about it.
      Nov 4, 2018
  • Oracle champa
    No be a wimp. If manager cause many leave tell HR and skip. You no have to vent only tell little. They find other role for manager. Bad manager ruin life many people
    Nov 4, 2018 0
  • Amazon TvJA66
    Be a man, do the right thingg!!
    Nov 4, 2018 0
  • Microsoft @zzz
    Just say, you are leaving for career reason, it's a great opportunity etc. Even if you don't want to work under that manager ever again, there is no benefit to you to burn that bridge.

    There have been people I will never work under, but would gladly work with.
    Nov 4, 2018 1
    • Microsoft mmgfsa
      This ^. Not worth defending the company culture at the risk of your own career.
      Nov 4, 2018
  • So much bad advice here. The only things you get from being honest in an exit interview are:

    1. catharsis
    2. possibly creating a better work environment for your ex-teammates

    Primarily the first, because HR exit interviews are just for formality and for the company to avoid lawsuits. Even if your skip wants to speak, you gain nothing by saying negatives.

    Simply make up something about an opportunity you can't pass up or new challenges, blah blah. It's the only professional thing to do.
    Feb 3 0
  • Nordstrom Nordee
    Hey this one is super tough, I feel you. I had a string of bad managers across a couple companies. I mean actual bad managers, that destroyed the team. A couple times I was one of the few left standing and helped rebuild the team from scratch.

    Each time, the skip levels either had no clue or didn’t care. It really depends on your company. At Amazon they don’t give a shit as long as results are being delivered. At other more employee focused companies they might.

    Just choose your words carefully and if you can trust your skip level be honest but fair. Do your research first though because I’d never do this if I was leaving Nordstrom. Our upper management has all basically hired each other from previous companies so they can do no wrong.
    Nov 4, 2018 0
  • New b00
    HR and skip level either already know about your boss being bad or they don't care. They don't want/need someone your level to tell them otherwise.
    Think of it this way, if you were a VP, do you think you would be able to tell if your employees were crap? Or would you need someone a few levels below you to tell you how to do your job?
    My suggestion is to make the exit about you and not your boss.
    Nov 4, 2018 0
  • Groupon 47394738
    You have nothing to gain personally by being brutally honest. As much as I’ve wished my exiting coworkers at past companies would lay it all out during their exit interviews in hopes of it making things better for the rest of us, it often falls of deaf ears anyway.
    Nov 4, 2018 0
  • Nortal p64350p2
    No, don't do it. Let them settled and not worth it. Be happy for the new job.
    Mar 20 1
    • Clover Health doenfh
      Let the thread die lol.
      Mar 20
  • Nordstrom Nordee
    I think that’s a good outlook and that’s what I did at my last job. I was honest but chose my words very carefully so no one would get defensive and so I wouldn’t burn any bridges
    Nov 5, 2018 0
  • Clover Health doenfh
    I'd avoid these at all costs. There is no benefit to you.
    Nov 4, 2018 0
  • Google snidely
    If you want to share information just write it all up in a document ahead of time and give them that. No sense having it turn into an emotionally charged conversation.
    Nov 4, 2018 0
  • Undisclosed LullLi
    I am in the ditto situation and have decided to give the hints to my manager about my real reasons of exit and convey the same in skip and exit interview with proper justification. As this is second time, I quitting because of manager.
    I don’t want someone else to go through with this shit. Already, 7 folks left my team without saying anything to anyone.
    Nov 4, 2018 0

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