The importance of exit interviews?
Exit interviews are important because they offer a deeper look at your workplace culture, day-to-day processes, management solutions, and employee morale. These interviews can help you foster positive relationships and a welcoming working environment when completed consistently and standardised.
An exit interview 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 help reduce costs.
What is an exit interview?
This 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 at the minute. 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 is 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 in contracts of employment where required and to organise the return of any laptops, mobile phones, company cars, etc.
You may also get an insight into recruiting, onboarding, and training needs may be revealed. If done well exit interviews can deliver great insights into your business and improve employee engagement and satisfaction.
Does an employee have to attend exit interviews?
Ultimately, the employer cannot guarantee the employee will attend the interview, regardless of whether it is part of their policy. Disciplinary action could be taken as a failure to follow management instructions; however, this may prove inconsequential as they will be leaving the business anyway.
Overall goals of exit interviews
- Identify any HR issues
- providing insights to employee’s perception of their work/work loads
- Understanding management/leadership styles and how they impactful they are
- Gain an understanding of competitors benefits, helping develop HR benchmarks
- Provide measures to improve employee satisfaction and retention
- Create business/employee advocates
For example, a company was able to identify issues regarding
its promotion strategy by focusing on technical abilities rather than
managerial skills from responses in exit interviews.
The company saw 9 employees leaving, all managed by the same
manager. During the interview, 4 out 5 employees cited that ‘the manager lacked
critical leadership skills’.
This information led to the development of the company’s procedure for promotions, helping the company make effective decisions when promoting an employee to the management level.
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