Exit interviews can:
- Help your organization find out what it is doing that drives people away.
- Identify supervisors who are mistreating individuals.
- Identify supervisors who have the potential to expose your organization to harassment lawsuits in the future.
- Determine if your compensation and benefits packages are not adequate.
Here are the steps to take to have a great exit interview as outlined in this article:
- Plan the interview. The exit interview should be a routine part of your off-boarding process. As soon as an employee gives notice, it’s time to schedule the interview.
- Prepare your questions. While you can’t force employees to answer your questions, you can prepare a comprehensive list. Organizations should ask the same questions in each exit interview to discover patterns and trends related to departures. Some suggested questions are:
Why are you leaving?
What is the company doing right?
What is the company doing wrong?
What could the company do better specifically regarding your position?
What would you want future new hires to know about the company?
- Do not ask anything about a specific person. Do not criticize or slander another employee. Do not ask about personal situations. (While we agree that questions about personal situations should not be asked, we recommend that the question be open-ended so as to allow the ex-employee to volunteer situations that may potentially expose your organizations to lawsuits.)
Plan to implement lessons learned.
The worst thing leaders can do when they collect employee input of any kind is fail to act. Employees invest valuable time sharing their analysis of their experiences. Dismissing the information by failing to act or make changes marginalizes and demoralizes employees.
Leaders set the tone through change and are always being watched, so how they handle departures is critical.
Here are three reasons a great exit interview is critical to culture and your company’s reputation:
- Exit interviews demonstrate that leaders care what employees think.
- The most valuable resource for organizational insight is employees.
- Exit interviews demonstrate that organizations are continuously evolving and changing, and that’s good.
This article has some additional exit questions to consider:
- Did you have the tools and resources you needed to do your job? If not, what would have made your life easier?
- Were there any obstacles that, if removed, would have made you more successful in your work?
- What feedback do you have on our training and development programs?
- What feedback do you have about your potential for career advancement here?
- Do you think our compensation and benefits package is competitive? If not, what would you change?
- Did you receive any kind of treatment you felt was inappropriate?
- What triggered your decision to leave?
- What was most satisfying about working here? Least satisfying?
- If you could change one thing about working here, what would it be?
Is your firm serious about finding out why people leave? If yes, exit interviews can provide valuable insight into why employees are leaving. Most ex-employees won’t necessarily speak with candor about the real reasons to Human Resource staff. These same folks may be forthcoming if they are responding to a disinterested third party. We can perform exit interviews and keep the name of the interviewee anonymous so they may be more open to providing truthful answers. And, we can deliver a customized template and ask the questions that you want asked.