It might have been really anonymous, but if you're the only employee leaving that week... not so much anymore.
This is true. Although in larger organizations, there could be tens or hundreds of people coming and going on any given week. Of course, in smaller organizations, you might be the only person to leave in a week or even a month.
DON’T focus on others or the company. Don’t say things like, “The company culture just wore me down.” or “My boss didn’t give me enough support.” It might feel good at the time, but probably won’t change anything and could hurt you later. This is easier if you avoid negative language.
I don't follow. If your employers are interested enough in hearing out why you're leaving, why wouldn't you explain it all? Not talking out of anger or tearing down people in a malicious way, but being honest. Isn't it important that management hears those reasons (if they're serious problems) so they can be addressed?
I think the main issue is that employers don't necessarily do exit interviews because they're interested in hearing what outgoing employees have to say—they often just do interviews as a formality because everyone else does them. I also think it's pretty rare that an exit interview eventually turns into some kind of change within an organization, and the the larger the organization, the less likely any change will come from your feedback. So there's very little to be gained by sharing my thoughts on the way out.
On the other side, even if my intentions are totally altruistic, there's still a chance my feedback could upset someone or stick with me, and that could cause me trouble later if I run into those same folks when looking for a future job. Within many industries, people tend to bump into old co-workers a lot. So there's some risk involved in sharing my feedback, even if it's shared with the best intentions.
So there's very little upside (it's unlikely anything will really change), and some downside (I could make someone upset, and they could affect my ability to get a future job), so I prefer to just keep most of my feedback to myself. I really don't owe anything to the company, and so I'm hesitant to take any kind of risk in that situation.
I agree, if, for example, your boss was not a good manager, others might want to leave because of that. Their managers need to know this so the issue can be addressed and others don't leave as a result of nobody speaking up. People can't improve if they don't know what's really wrong.
Wow. That's crazy: did you mention to your boss that the form said "anonymous"?
Seems disingenuous for them to put that on a form, when it wasn't actually anonymous. (Is that even legal?)
Regardless, this is a great reminder to not leave a job on a bad note (even if the job was bad).
I didn't mention the "anonymous" thing to my boss. I figured what was done was done, and I was happy to have dodged a bullet. Didn't want to push it. I couldn't think of much upside and figured it was better to just let it go.
If you're leaving somewhere with some cause (rather than random circumstance), it's likely all of the issues were already communicated in earlier attempts to resolve them while you were still planning to work there. And if they still weren't addressed, there's no need to bring it up yet again in an exit interview.
An exit interview is like a performance evaluation -- there should be no surprises.
Actually it's pretty surprising way, because I never seen anything like that, and "talk" like that should appear before your leaving, so employer might have an idea how to keep you in company, OR you just fill out your resignation and then boss heard about this which is also kind a weird ;-)
But as someone mention before me, as the employee which is leaving company you actually should tell true reasons of your leaving not just trying to be nice, because then company cannot change behaviour which brings employees to leave.