Does your company routinely conduct exit interviews with departing employees? If so, good, and I hope you use that information to your company’s advantage. If you don’t, you might reconsider, because you’re missing an opportunity to provide a window into your company culture and areas for improvement.
Exit interviews let you get inside input on areas where your company excels and where it comes up short. And while it’s true that unhappy employees who are leaving might not be the most objective sources of information, comments heard repeatedly should be given credence.
Make these actions part of your exit interview process
- Encourage departing employees to do an exit interview, letting them know you want their critical insight. However, don’t try to mandate their participation. Ask if you can share their input with their supervisor and as part of a report to company management.
- Ask variations of these questions every time, in addition to ones specific to your company:
- Why are you leaving your position and the company?
- What did you like most about your position here?
- What did you like least about your position here?
- How was your relationship with your supervisor?
- Did you have the resources and support you needed to succeed in your job?
- Were you encouraged to pursue opportunities for professional development?
- Compile frequently mentioned comments and suggestions in a report, along with turnover data. This information can be used to correct problem areas and for employee training, professional development, and possibly even for strategic planning.
- Establish a policy for exit interviews for employees who leave voluntarily. Address when and where they should be done, and who does them. Be sure that whoever conducts the interviews is trained to do them and is a skilled active listener. Consider these methods:
- Face-to-face – most personal: conveys “I hear you and care about what you’re saying”; allows for follow-up questions for more info
- Phone – prompts employees to be more open; can encourage follow-up questions
- Online – lets employee be even more candid; may allow data to be automatically collected and compiled; can be anonymous
- Printed questionnaire – elicits most candid comments, as responder can choose to be anonymous; enables data to be easily collected and compiled
Want assistance with exit interviews? Contact our HR consulting service
Many companies today use professionals trained in human resources consulting to conduct their exit interviews. They find they get a higher participation rate when departing employees can sit down with a neutral third party. Also, HR consulting firms can offer several methods to get responses, giving employees more options to participate.
If you’re considering outsourcing your exit interview process, talk with us here at TriStarr, an employment agency and HR consulting firm with recruiters (or, headhunters) in Lancaster, PA. We would also welcome the opportunity to talk with you about our employment recruiting services and our administrative staffing services.