Most organizations understand the importance of screening job candidates before deciding to bring them on-board. However, there is so much to learn when someone leaves. Many organizations use exit interviews are a forum to learn.
So why not ask people probing questions when they decide to leave the organization?
Take the time to learn why an employee accepted another position and you can learn how to improve.
When done appropriately, organizations can learn how to improve how they manage those valuable human resources.
Use the exit interview to take care of any housekeeping.
For example use this conversation to explain when the employee will receive their last paycheck, how long health insurance coverage will last and how to manage their retirement savings.
Once the housekeeping tasks are completed, ask permission to have an honest conversation about their employment experience.
Explain the intent – to improve how talent is managed.
Use an exit interview form as a guide and have a casual conversation.
This is the time to listen – not to correct perceptions. Don’t get defensive but merely absorb the information.
Take good notes, be cordial and genuinely thankful for the response.
5 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 feel they deserve it.
However, most will simply seek out other positions if they think it will benefit them financially.
Ask an employee if their pay and benefit package influenced their decision to accept another job. 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 the challenges they may have with their supervisor.
Providing adequate training for supervisors is crucial to creating 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 other people.
3. How Well Do We Communicate
We often think we communicate something and fail to recognize that we could have done a better job.
Sharing information, asking for feedback and helping stakeholders understand the why we do the things we do are all important details that need to 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 then pleasant.
Culture is defined as “how we do things here” and if a culture fosters negativity (or simply doesn’t address it) it can become toxic and impact employee morale.
Ask departing employees about their experience at work and you may uncover issues that you didn’t even know exist.
5. How Well Do We Utilize The Talents Of Our Employees
Employees go to work with the intention of doing a good job.
And, they want to use their God given talents to contribute to the success of the organization.
Find out the professional goals of employees and put processes in place to develop and mentor them.
Use the exit interview process to learn and if you find out an employee is leaving because they found another organization to better utilize their talents, then you have probably missed the mark.
Recruiting, interviewing and training new employees is costly and time consuming.
Take advantage of an exiting employee’s experience to learn better how to retain and develop your top talent!