Why do an exit interview? After all, the employee is leaving the business, so is this time well spent?
The answer is a resolute yes! An exit interview is a crucial component to understanding why an employee is leaving your organisation. The feedback from it can provide insights into what you can do better to keep your workforce around and reduce overall turnover.
Many employees who choose to leave do it without any bad blood towards your business. They may be changing a career path, developing different skills, or taking a break from corporate life for personal reasons. In these instances, it is likely they don't want to close the door to your company completely, and neither should you.
Keep reading as we touch on the benefits and drawbacks of an exit interview. We will also discuss what kinds of questions you can ask to attain helpful information about the motivations for leaving and what your organisation can improve on to increase retention.
What Is An Exit Interview?
In short, an exit interview is a final check-in with departing employees to understand their experience at your company better. You can do it in two parts: first, by giving them an exit survey, and then by inviting them for a candid interview.
Many employees perceive it as a friendly gesture as it shows you still value their input, and they won't be leaving without some form of verbal affirmation.
This interview shouldn’t just be used to review their experience but also to let them know you are open to future collaboration.
Why Do An Exit Interview: What HR Can Learn From It?
You can measure the usefulness of your exit interview by the beneficial changes it generates for your organisation.
Here is what you as HR can learn from your exit interviews:
Understand The Employee’s Experience Of Their Position
Here you will gain insights into the employee’s general feelings towards their colleagues, the culture of the office, and their working conditions. This can help management and HR improve the worker’s experience, add or increase incentives, and make necessary changes to team support structures.
Identify Issues Related to HR
This is a common goal for any exit interview. The interview can help uncover problematic factors relating to the onboarding or offboarding process in your company. It may inform you about your talent acquisition management process.
During this part of the interview, pay attention to the employee’s feelings about their salary and benefits and if they are leaving because their pay packages don’t align with their peers or competitors.
Make Key Observations About Leadership In The Company
While many departing employees hold back and try to give positive feedback during the final interview process, it is essential to make them comfortable enough to provide constructive feedback.
Here, you can encourage feedback regarding their superiors’ leadership style. Did they feel they were managed in a way that made it easier for them to do their jobs effectively and feel supported?
The Pros And Cons Of Holding These Interviews
It is essential to understand the pros and cons of this final step as it helps to validate the 'why' of an exit interview.
- You can take feedback and use it to make improvements to the company’s internal structure.
- Understand how the business weighs against competitors (salary, benefits, etc.)
- By treating departing employees with respect, you create advocates for your organisation.
- You gain information that helps you avoid losing additional staff.
- Employees may be reluctant to share the true nature of their experience because they are afraid of not receiving good references.
- You may have an employee that feels hostile and uses the interview to vent without providing any helpful information.
It’s Key To The Offboarding Process
Offboarding is one of the only ways for management and HR to know that they have covered all their bases when a person leaves. This includes filling out paperwork, rescinding access to your systems, retrieving company assets, and giving the employee any outstanding documents or payslips.
Offboarding helps both the departing employee and the team they are leaving behind to transition smoothly.
Finally, an effective offboarding programme allows your company to leave the door open to any employee who wants to return in the future.
Ideas On What To Ask During The Interview
During the interview process, try to make it as friendly and constructive as possible. Get to the heart of things but avoid sounding robotic.
Make sure the employee knows they are welcome not to answer questions they feel uncomfortable with.
Here’s a list of some general questions you can ask the people who are on their way out the door:
- Let us know what your general feelings about working here were, and if possible, please explain why you have chosen to leave?
- Do you have any suggestions about how we can improve working conditions?
- What could be done to improve the situation that has caused you to leave?
- Do you think that other employees have the same feeling about this situation?
- What did you enjoy most about working here?
- Is there anything you would have liked to have implemented here or in your department?
- Please complete the following sentence: "I don't know why the company doesn't just…."
- Name two or three things you have enjoyed about working with your supervisor?
- What aspects of your onboarding programme do you feel could have been improved?
There are many reasons why you should do an exit interview when employees leave. They can offer valuable insights into pertinent aspects of day-to-day operations that greatly influence the employee experience. It also lets them know you are open to doing business in the future.
If you would like to learn more about improving the employee experience with &Team, get in touch with us to arrange a free demo.