The benefits of using exit interviews is to help your company retain and recruit the right kind of talent. A well-designed exit interview process is both a qualitative and quantitative tool, practical and a relatively inexpensive way to take the temperature of your business.
One of the benefits of using exit interviews is that they are a good way to gauge the emotions of a departing employee. To get the most out of the process it is important that you conduct them carefully to get frank and honest feedback. Done in this way exit interviews will help you assess and improve all aspects of working environment, culture, policies and practices in your business. They can even be useful in helping you to design training and development to move your business forward.
An exit interview is helpful in understanding the positive and negative aspects of employment within your business. It is, therefore, important to follow some simple guidelines in how you approach this to maximise the benefits of using exit interviews in your business.
- Think about who should conduct the exit interview. If you want to maximise the benefits of using exit interviews, give serious consideration to not having the departing employee’s immediate supervisor conducting the interview.
- Think about how the process should be conducted, informally or formally. A formal process with standardised questions posed to all departing employees designs out any personal bias of the interviewer.
- At the start of the exit interview, explain the purpose of the interview, explain that you are looking for their honest feedback.
- During the exit interview, listen carefully, be patient and open to criticism.
- Try to keep the process simple, make it a private, possibly even confidential, meeting.
- The person carrying out the interview needs to be non-judgmental and skilled enough in building rapport with an interviewee who is citing “personal reasons” as their reasons for leaving. Sometimes, “personal reasons” are just that, personal, but sometimes “personal reasons” are just a euphemism for “I don’t like working here and I can’t wait to get out but I don’t want to say that to your face”.
- At the end of interview always say “thanks” with a positive smile, then compile the information so that it can be used for improvements.
Some employers confuse exit interviews with a way to stop the employees leaving the organisation, by addressing their grievances or problems. It’s highly likely that an exit interview is way too late to have that effect. What they are is just a part of the separation stage of the employee life cycle. It gives the departing employee and you, the employer an opportunity to properly close the existing relationship and not to leave any loose ends which can affect either party.
If you need help designing a meaningful exit interview process give us a call now on 01706 565332. We can help you think through the best way forward.
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.