Exit Interviews are a Must!
Do you meet with employees who are voluntarily leaving your organization for their next opportunity? There have been historically high turnover rates over the past year, so the opportunity was indeed present.
If not, your organization is genuinely missing an incredibly powerful feedback loop.
Why bother to spend time? You know why an employee is leaving, more money, the ability to work remotely, etc., right? Those reasons may be part of the answer but not the motivation for the change. If you don’t ask, you may make incorrect assumptions and create internal changes based on data that isn’t complete.
Typically, several motives play into why an employee decides to leave their current job. But what is the primary reason? It might be very different from what they are espousing to their manager.
We strongly suggest you institute the following:
- Designate an individual in your organization (if you are of a size that makes that practice reasonable) to schedule and complete exit interviews. Preferably the person will be a well-respected HR professional who is an active listener and able to ask questions in a non-threatening way.
- Set aside an hour for each interview. It may not take that long, but you don’t want the interviewee to feel rushed.
- Utilize an exit interview form for each session, asking everyone the same questions.
- Review the data collected, looking for consistent themes.
- Most importantly, use the information as a data point in planning for and making organizational changes.
As seasoned HR professionals, we have completed countless exit interviews. Based on our experience, when you take the time to sit with an exiting employee and ask about their experience, they are appreciative. And when you share the intent of the meeting, to learn from them and improve the organization for the people that remain and future new people, they are often very willing to share their thoughts.
Take the time. You can really learn a lot!