Because employees leave even the best companies with regularity, an exit interview should be part of every offboarding process.

When you conduct good exit interviews, they can give you a sense of the experience employees have working for your company. These conversations can indicate what employees like most about their job and what workplace problems should be addressed. Exit interviews can put a spotlight on bad personnel management, toxic aspects of the work environment and any worker concerns that haven’t been told to management.

These are some of the most informative interviews a company can conduct because departing staff members don’t have much lose by being candid. Exit interviews are only beneficial, however, if company leadership acts on the insights they produce.

Conducting the Interview

Exit interviews are normally in one of two formats: an in-person interview or a questionnaire the departing worker fills out by themselves. The interview format is better suited to asking follow-up questions on anything of interest the worker mentions, while written form lets the worker take his or her time in answering each question, resulting in more thoughtful answers.

Regardless of which format your company chooses, the interview should be scheduled as soon as he or her turns in their notice. From time to time, an employee will stop coming in before their scheduled final day, and it’s harder in this situation to get in an exit interview. For the in-person interview, set up a dedicated time at everyone’s earliest convenience. You don’t to do the interview last minute and rush the process.

The Questions to Ask

Having a standard group of questions enables you to get uniform information that can be examined and evaluated later. With consistency, you can combine feedback to find large themes, which could then be reported to executive leadership.

Obviously, you’ll want to ask what triggered their decision to leave and if they are leaving for a new job, what is so appealing about the opportunity. You should also ask for their opinion on advancement opportunities, as well as their relationships with supervisors and co-workers – since these are the three biggest reasons why people quit a job.

The most beneficial exit interviews are upbeat, honest and driven by the departing staff member. Good, open-ended questions can direct the discussion to ensure it’s useful and specific. For instance, you could start by asking about the most stressful part of their job and move on to asking how the company could have done a better job to address that pain point.

Don’t forget to ask departing employees what they liked best about their job and what was the most rewarding thing they accomplished in their time with the company. The responses to these questions not only help you lower retention, that can also help you market open positions to job seekers.

We Can Help Your Company Act on Feedback

At Jarvi Group, we often take insights our clients have on retention and used them to recruit best-fit candidates. If your company is currently looking for an HR partner, please contact us today.

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