The Value of Exit Interviews

As a business proprietor, encountering employee attrition is a common occurrence in managing a company. Employees retire, discover fresh prospects, relocate, or undergo various changes that prompt them to quit or depart from their present workplace. Nonetheless, there are instances when individuals exit an organization due to factors associated with the nature of their tasks or the operational approach of the business.

No matter the reasoning, an exit interview can provide you with a wealth of information to make your company better. The following exit interview tips will help you ask the right questions, so you receive feedback that you can turn into actionable steps to improve your company and how it functions.

Making The Most of an Exit Interview

No matter your industry, you want to reduce turnover as much as possible. Retaining your best employees gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace, while those who have high turnover rates produce inferior results. In this respect, exit interviews become very valuable as they allow you to identify and correct core issues. Many companies do not do exit interviews and others simply do not examine any data received. Skipping exit interviews is a disservice to your company and here are some of the things a good exit interview process can teach you.

  • Discover Any HR Issues: while salary and benefits are an important question, as many employees do leave for more of both, they aren’t the only issues employees can have with an employer. Often, employees will leave when fairly compensated due to issues with other HR practices and how talent is managed. Uncovering these issues is important as they can cause employee unrest due to frustration.
  • Get Insight On How the Work is Viewed: a job involves several components such as daily activities, tools used, working conditions, company culture, and coworkers. These factors all play into how employees are motivated, how effective they can be, and how efficient they are on the job. Issues such as a lack of needed resources can greatly reduce employee output and lead to a negative view of the position.
  • Effectiveness of Management: getting feedback on managers is one of the most important pieces of information exit interviews can provide. This allows you to support managers who are effective and well-liked by their teams and remove ineffective or toxic managers. You can also use this information to improve management training and processes to produce better outcomes and happier employees.
  • View How Competitive You Are Compared to Other Organizations: if former employees are willing to share the information, you can get a better idea of the types of salaries and benefits your competitors are offering. If you are losing a lot of employees, the root cause could be that you’re not keeping up with the current market rates and how they’re trending. This information can be used to update your pay rates, benefits, and other perks to improve your portion of acquiring and retaining talent.
  • Collect Idea To Improve Your Company: you should ask broader questions that go beyond the immediate experience of a former employee’s day-to-day activity. Ask them how they view the company’s strategy, how it operates, marketing, how departments are structured, and about the competition. Ask them what they would change or have the company do differently. If common issues keep being noted, they should be corrected as soon as possible.
  • Leave Things On a Good Note: often when an employee leaves there is no ill will or desire to see their former employer fail. Be sure to express gratitude for their work and the efforts they have provided your organization. In this respect, you may very well keep a customer or someone willing to name your company as a good place to work to those they know.

As the above list shows, exit interviews are far more than a formality, they are a valuable tool to collect information and improve your organization.


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