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Exit interviews and their impact on employee retention

employers , blog , recruitment industry

In most companies, the Human Resource Manager conducts a brief interview with the departing employee to gather feedback. Though it’s completely voluntary to conduct an exit interview, it is extremely helpful in shedding light on departmental issues that may have been unaddressed.

They’re often more informative than regular check-ins. This may be because the departing employees can answer the questions in all honesty since they have little to lose.

Types of Exit Interviews

If the organisation is serious about retaining their employee then an online exit survey works great. Here are a few reasons why a company should get an online survey tool to create online exit feedback;

  1. Taking feedback online removes the possibility of interviewer bias. Online exit surveys convey the answers as they are to a more authoritative professional in the organisation.
  2. In most cases, employees fill the feedback forms easily when not confronted since they no longer feel the need to sugar coat their tone or the nature of their answers.
  3. There’s no requirement of manual entry since the survey stores the exact data entered by the employee.
  4. What the departing employee writes in the survey is exactly what is interpreted.

Face-to-Face Interviews

Planning a face-to-face interview works great if you’re certain that there will be no bias. Here are a few tips to make a face-to-face exit interview impactful –

  1. Schedule the interview and inform the employee about the scheduled date beforehand. This will give enough time to the departing employee to be prepared and share their answers in all honesty.
  2. Make it private and give the employee the freedom of being honest and candid.
  3. Promise the content of the interview will be confidential.

Why Exit Interviews?

Highlight toxic management practices – Exit interviews give insight into the problems in the organisation since the issues may be more than what meets the eye. Here are a few problems that can be identified with an effective exit interview –

  1. Managers may be mentally absent and forcing the staff members to take managerial decisions. They may be unaware of the toxic dynamic developing in the team which often leads to disputes within the team members.
  2. Managers or team leaders may not be able to resolve conflicts if they lack interest in team activities. As a result, the staff members may suppress their frustration which not only affects their performance but can also push them to a point where they feel that resigning is the only option.  

Identify if the Work Environment is Hostile – Exit interviews help identify feuds in the work environment that may not have been reported to the management or HR. Work environment conflicts may include harassment, racism, discrimination, etc. And departing employees speak up without any fear which can help the organisation take the required action.

Reduce Employee Turnover – Apart from the hostile environment, employees may be facing difficulties such as inadequate paid leaves, impractical job requirements, and others where you may be coming up short. Hence, identifying problems in the workplace helps employers take actions that can reduce employee turnover.

Exit Interview Questions

Ask the right questions that would help you understand if the business practices need to be changed. For example –

  1. What didn’t you like about the organization?
  2. Do you have suggestions for improvement?
  3. What could we have done to stop you from quitting?
  4. How is your new employer better than us?
  5. Did your supervisor treat you fairly?
  6. Would you let us know as you gain new skills and experience?
  7. Would you like us to contact you for future opportunities?

Never retaliate for a good faith complaint in the exit interview.

Focus on what should be improved in the workplace and understand the employee behavior from time to time. Employers can do this using a pulse survey and get real-time employee feedback. Also, never retaliate for a good faith complaint in the exit interview to maintain the reputation of your company and be respected.

Have something you would like to share with us about exit interviews? Let us know in the comment section below.

Author Bio: Bhavika Sharma is a survey designer at SurveySparrow, where she designs surveys that work by making them more conversational and engaging, fetching 40% more responses. When she isn’t designing killer surveys, she loves to travel in search of adventure and to meet new people. Her travel experiences have taught her the importance of conversation and that is what she brings to the table while creating surveys or content for her readers.