Are You Using Exit Interviews to Improve Staff Retention?

Exit interviews are used to source information around the reasons behind staff turnover and are conducted at the end of the employment relationship. They offer a unique opportunity to gather employee feedback about your organisation and what might be done to retain people in the future.

Exit Interviews should be designed to balance the need to extract valuable information and data, with the need to keep the conversation personal and engaging enough in order to have the ex-employee give an open and honest assessment.

Employees can often be disengaged at the end of the employment cycle, or uncomfortable providing open feedback due to the perceived risk of a future negative reference check or damaging the relationship further, so it is worth bearing in mind this may affect their ability to be open. It might be useful to have an internal policy clearly outlining how the confidentiality of exit interviews is managed in your business to help employees feel more comfortable about how the sensitive information they share will be handled.

Exit interviews should be conducted by a senior, impartial internal staff member, or outsourced to a third party and of course the person conducting it should be well trained and experienced in dealing with an interview process so they understand how to question to get to the real issues.

Typically questions are designed to extract information around:

  • What attracted them to the organisation and role initially plus their perceptions and understanding of company values and culture.
  • Feedback on their induction and introduction to the company.
  • Their reasons for leaving.
  • Their view on their remuneration vs their performance and the role.
  • Feedback on their direct Supervisor.
  • Feedback on the organisation as a whole.
  • Where they are going (ie their new role) and why.
  • Would they recommend your organisation to other employees and to customer.

A written record of the exit interview should be kept and data used to analyse for trends that indicate possible areas for improvement. The direct manager should also provide feedback on the staff member and their views. This is key tool that organisations focused on improving retention use and more information on how we can assist is available by phoning Trudy on 08 8232 8008.