What is an Exit Interview?
An exit interview is a conversation between an employee who has submitted a resignation and his employer. The interview is an opportunity for the departing employee to discuss his reasons for leaving the company. Many companies struggle to reduce the incidence of employee turnover. An effective exit interview can help employers develop new strategies for employee satisfaction and retention.
Are Exit Interviews Merely Gripe Sessions?
Employees are not always disgruntled when they make the decision to leave a company. Life circumstances, such as the need to spend more time with family, moving to another location, illness, or caregiving responsibilities are common reasons for employee resignations.
Dissatisfied employees are the ones employers should focus on when conducting the exit interview. There are times when an employee is simply not a good fit in the company. Those resignations are beneficial for both the employee and the employer. The cause for concern is when valued employees resign.
Why Do Employees Seek Other Employment?
Employees allude to a number of reasons for resigning from their position. Feeling undervalued, lack of cooperation among staff members, few opportunities for advancement, personality conflicts with management, and the desire to make more money are common reasons employees mention as reasons for leaving a job.
Employers can ask a series of information seeking questions during the exit interview that will pinpoint potential problems regarding employee resignations in the future. Some sample questions are listed here that will identify reasons for employee dissatisfaction.
1) How were you treated by your supervisor and other management personnel?
2) Were your coworkers cooperative and easy to work with?
3) Did our training program provide adequate training for your job?
4) Was the workload in your department equally distributed?
5) Did you feel comfortable talking to your supervisor about your concerns?
6) What does your new company offer that enticed you to take the new position?
7) How do you feel about company morale?
8) What are the positive things about your job?
9) What are some things the company could improve?
10) Would you recommend our company to a friend who was seeking employment?
The exit interview should not be a negative experience for the departing employee or the employer. Listen to the suggestions and comments made during the exit interview and use them to make improvements in company policies and procedures. If a pattern emerges from information divulged in exit interviews, you will be able to take the steps necessary to resolve problematic issues and decrease employee turnover rates.
The best way to retain employees and maintain a friendly, cohesive workplace environment is to have regular communication with employees and encourage employee participation and input whenever possible.