Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Churches employ people to help them fulfill their mission. These valuable contributors make the church happen!
Most organizations understand the importance of screening job candidates before hiring them.
However, there is so much to learn when someone leaves. Many organizations use exit interviews as a forum to learn.
If an employee quits, why do you care?
We are often frustrated when a good employee just up and quits. So why should we ask people probing questions when they decide to leave the organization?
The short answer is we want to learn.
It’s worth taking the time to understand why an employee decides to accept a different job opportunity. This knowledge can help you identify areas for improvement.
For instance, you may be surprised to learn that a custodian could not access the necessary tools to do their job despite countless attempts making the request to a supervisor.
When done right, your church can learn how to improve the way employees are managed.
The Exit Interview
Use the exit interview to take care of any housekeeping issues.
For instance, during the conversation, you can clarify the timeline for the employee’s final paycheck, discuss their health insurance coverage duration, and offer guidance on managing their retirement savings.
After finishing the housekeeping tasks, kindly request permission to talk candidly about their work experience.
Explain the intent – to improve how talent is managed.
Use an exit interview form as a guide and have a casual conversation.
Now is the moment to truly listen – avoid correcting the employee’s perceptions. Rather than getting defensive, simply absorb the information being shared.
Take good notes, be cordial, and be genuinely thankful for the response.
6 Things You Can Learn by Doing an Exit Interview
1. Is Our Pay Competitive?
Some employees will be bold and ask for more pay if they think they deserve it.
However, most will simply seek out other positions if they think it will benefit them financially.
Ask employees if their pay and benefits package influenced their decision to accept another job.
If the answer is yes, probe to better understand their experience.
The answer may shed light on internal issues that impact maintaining a competitive compensation strategy.
2. How Well Do We Manage Our Employees?
It has been well documented that the number one reason employees seek out other employment is because of their immediate supervisor.
Employees may take a position because of job responsibilities, pay, or benefits – but 50% leave because of the person managing them.
Employees often find it difficult to communicate their challenges with their supervisors.
Do your part by providing adequate supervisor training. This important step can influence a healthy work environment where employees develop and thrive.
Understanding why an employee leaves may shed light on training issues with those we delegate the responsibility of managing others.
3. How Well Do We Communicate?
We often think we have communicated something and fail to recognize that we could have done better.
Sharing information, asking for feedback, and helping stakeholders understand why we do what we do are all important details that must be communicated clearly and repeatedly.
When employees feel like they receive effective communication, they are more likely to trust management and be engaged with the organization.
4. How Healthy Is Our Culture?
Sometimes people change jobs because the work environment is simply too exhausting to endure.
Drama, conflict, and unresolved issues can create a work culture that is less than pleasant.
Culture is defined as “how we do things here,” and if a culture fosters negativity (or does not address it), it can become toxic and impact employee morale.
Ask departing employees about their experience at work, and you may uncover issues you did not even know existed.
5. How Well Do We Utilize the Talents of Our Employees?
Employees go to work to do a good job.
And they want to use their God-given talents to contribute to the organization’s success.
Find out employees’ professional goals and put processes in place to develop and mentor them.
Use the exit interview process to learn. If an employee leaves because they found another organization to utilize their talents better, you have probably missed the mark.
6. Do Employees Like Working Here?
Some employees leave for inevitable reasons. Those reasons might be retirement, debilitating illness, or caring for family members.
In this case, an exit interview will share insights into the employee experience. Seek to learn from employees so you have the necessary information to improve the work experience for all employees.
Exit Interviews Can Help You Be Better
Employees who enjoy their employment experience are more likely to share the positive experience with others. This employer reputation is a great way to recruit and retain the top talent in your field.
Recruiting, interviewing, and training new employees is costly and time-consuming.
Take advantage of an exiting employee’s experience to learn how to better retain and develop your top talent!
If you are a SCM member, you can access an exit interview form here. If you are not a member, you can explore our growing library of forms, documents, and job descriptions here.