Why are exit interviews important?
Exit interviews are important because they offer a deeper look at your workplace culture, day-to-day processes, management solutions, and employee morale. When completed in a consistent and standardised way, these interviews can help you foster positive relationships and a welcoming working environment.
They can help discover a problem and although it may be too late to fix it for that employee it can help shape a strategy to reduce your staff turnover which will in turn help to reduce costs.
Company culture has a massive impact on employee retention, during the current candidate-led market, ensuring you understand your company’s workplace culture is critical. A stronger understanding of the culture can come from exit interviews, analysing the feedback can create steps for improvement, as mentioned above helping to reduce staff turnover.
Forbes highlight that exit interviews help to identify ‘critical themes’ of the workplace environment. Establishing areas requiring improvement helping to increase employee retention and positivity impact the business’ culture.
What is an exit interview?
An exit interview should be a neutral meeting between the employee and employer. It is designed to help the employer acquire feedback about their training, management style, benefits package etc. that may help them retain staff in the future.
It shouldn’t be too dissimilar to a job interview but instead of questioning their ability to do the job you are asking them about reasons for leaving and areas for company improvement.
It is normally best to conduct the interview face to face or via Zoom or Teams. Try and schedule the meeting with someone who isn’t the employee’s direct line manager, this will encourage more open feedback.
Why are exit interviews important to the business?
Make sure and ask the obvious question, why are they leaving? But also look for information on what the company are doing well and where improvements could be made.
It also helps employers to mitigate any future claims of discrimination or unfair conduct that may arise. However, you also need to be careful to avoid discussing any other employees with a departing employee.
This meeting is also a good opportunity for employers to remind employees of their post-employment obligations surrounding clients, data etc. We would encourage employers to remind employees of their restrictive covenants where required and to organise the return of any laptops, mobile phones, company cars, etc.
You may also get an insight into recruiting, on-boarding and training needs may be revealed.
If done well they can deliver great insights into your business and improve employee engagement and satisfaction. Leading to more productive employees due to feeling more valued and rewarded, resulting in overall better business performance.
Does an employee have to attend?
Ultimately, the employer cannot guarantee the employee will attend this meeting, regardless of whether it is part of their policy. Disciplinary action could be taken as failure to follow a management instruction; however, this may prove inconsequential as they will be leaving the business anyway.
Three main reasons for completing exit interviews:
- Understand the positive and negative aspects of the business
- Highlighting of any potential tribunal cases or claims
- Post contractual obligations can be restated
Our Managing Director Helen Hardy gives us more intel and reasons for completing exit interviews when an employee is leaving. Make sure to check out the video below:
If an employee has verbally given their notice, prior to their official written notice, opting for a stay interview might get more insight to why the employees is wanting to leave. The business may be able to meet the new contract agreement offered to the employee or establish a plan to make working with the company a more positive atmosphere.
Looking for a better way to add exit interviews to your HR strategy?
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