Retail Appointment January 2019 TRAP_Jan 2019_Digital Edition - Page 5

n most cases, both sides find this helpful and, where constructive feedback is given, the em- ployer can learn from the leaver’s experience and perhaps avoid losing others. On other occasions, it is an opportunity to thank the employer. In a perfect world this is useful for both sides. I But do you live in a perfect world? All too often an employee sees this as an opportunity to settle old scores and perhaps to hit back at man- agers who either were not competent, or who the leaver believes were not competent. So, they give damning indictments on their former bosses and perhaps on colleagues, believing that they have se- cretly managed to hit back at those they dislike without any possible backlash. Whereas, in fact, in this very imperfect world, the opposite is often true. So, what happens when you make disparaging or vicious remarks about your former colleagues and managers? When they see or hear about it, it builds up resentment. “Why couldn’t they say this to my face?” they ask, full of righteous indignation; per- haps forgetting that the complaints were justified. And then they plot their revenge! It sounds nasty and does not always happen, but there is a risk. References are frequently taken up and there is a dangerous myth that an employer cannot give a bad reference. They can and they often do. Defamation, I hear you cry! Well, it is only defamation if it’s untrue. An angry but clever em- ployer may well find things that are damaging to you that are true, even though overall you did a good job. This may seem one sided, and it is, but no one ever said this world is always fair. And, let’s be clear, how often does an employer tell you that you were turned down because of references? Of course, some people prefer to hit back on social media. This is really a very bad idea. Firstly, potential employers may not like to see these sorts of com- ments, even if they are about their competitors. More worryingly, where you have been damning about your former employer, it is entirely likely that they will see what you have written and work out that it is you. Let’s be honest, if you were bitter and twisted whilst working for them they probably knew it. Negative comments on social media, including the so-called review sites, are at best unprofessional and at worst provocative and dangerous. It is far more likely that potential employers will ask your ex-em- ployer about you than it is that a potential employer will ask you about them. In short, there is really not very much upside in “hit- ting back” in this way but there is an enormous downside. When it comes to exit interviews and giving feedback, probably the best advice is the old adage, “if you haven’t got anything good to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.” In many cases you will feel that you do have some constructive criticisms, which you feel genuinely will be well received and taken on board. And, you will probably be right. To be sure, though, mention it to your line manager first. After all, how many of us really welcome criticism, constructive or otherwise? For employers that really do want to get feedback, warts and all, then they need to be able to guarantee confidentiality and ensure that managers, or those criticised, cannot hit back. In a well-run organisation that feedback would pass freely before the employee leaves, but very few organisations are perfect. “If “Pull you out haven’t got from anything good to a quote the editorial say that about someone, don’t and say put copy sounds interesting anything at all.” it here.” retailappointment.co.uk 05