Many employers know the importance of conducting an exit interview. When the employee is on the way out the door, the employee is more likely to open up and express honest opinions about the company, its leadership, and employee morale. The employer can gain valuable information in an exit interview.
Make the Most of an Exit Interview with Departing Employees
Hold the exit interview one or two days before the employee’s last day. The key to a productive exit interview is asking the right questions and engaging in a discussion about the points raised. Here are nine of the best questions to ask.
1. What are the primary reasons why you decided to leave? Asking the employee why they are leaving may seem like an obvious question. Often, the employee has given an “official” reason before the exit interview. However, this is the time to get a candid, more detailed explanation. A follow up question may be “What caused you to look for another job?” You may find out your company’s compensation package is not competitive, or you may find out that there is another issue causing employee turnover.
2. What did you like the most about the job? The least? The employee’s answers will help identify the job duties that the employee enjoyed and whether the job itself is the reason for leaving. You can consider whether the job duties can be modified to try to avoid having the same problem with the employee’s replacement.
3. What could we have done better? The employee’s answer may provide you with information about the company culture and ways you can make it a better place to work. Your goal is to keep employee morale high, and often it has less to do with pay and more to do with the atmosphere and the collegiality among employees.
4. Did you have the tools and resources necessary to do your job well? The employee will likely describe frustrations with the company IT systems and bureaucracy, but the answers may reveal areas where the company needs to improve. Employees need to feel supported by company management or they will disengage. Let the departing employee help you identify areas where employees need more resources or support from management.
5. Did you feel management communicated well with employees? Keeping employees updated on new developments and policies is important. The exiting employee will tell you whether they thought they were kept informed on these and other important matters. Gain insight from the answers. Did the employee feel like a valued part of the company, and how much transparency did the employee observe from the management team? If the employee feels more like they were an outsider looking in rather than as a valued employee, you probably have communications and/or cultural issues you need to address. If you don’t, the replacement employee, along with other employees, may be feeling the same way.
6. Were you satisfied with the interactions you had with your manager? If the employee had any problems with his or her manager, this is where it will come out, if it hasn’t already. Your company needs to make sure its managers are interacting effectively and appropriately with their direct reports. Conflicts with managers are some of the most common reasons employees leave their jobs.
7. What could we have done for you to remain employed here? This question is direct. It is another chance for the employee to open up to you if they haven’t already.
8. Would you consider coming back to work here at some point in the future? The employee’s answer can inform you if they are leaving to get a promotion, other experience, or just more pay. It is helpful information to know, especially if the employee is someone your company would like to keep.
9. Do you have any additional thoughts or comments about your work experience here that you would like to share? Make sure the employee has had ample opportunity to share anything that they may have been withholding. You don’t really know what could come up, but you need to just listen. It’s important to get as much information as you can.
Speak to an HR Solutions Firm for more information
If you are not conducting exit interviews of your departing opportunities, you are missing a great opportunity. Find out what is going on inside the company before you read about it on a public website. Exit interviews are critical for learning about what is driving employee satisfaction. For information on conducting effective exit interviews and acquiring HR outsourcing and consulting services, contact an HR Solutions firm.