What Should You Not Say In An Exit Interview
Here are 10 things you should never say before your exit interview.This place is ‘going downhill/a sinking ship/lost without meSo-and-so was mean to me/did something bad/hates it here, tooSHOW ME THE MONEY!@%!Never, ever again.You could have made me stay, you know.Nobody likes working here.More items…
Analyze Exit Interview Information
Sending an exit interview report is a logical next step, but it’s one that many companies overlook.
Sending an exit interview report is a logical next step, but its one that many companies overlook. Fewer than one-third of employers surveyed by Harvard Business Review could give an example of specific action taken as a result of an exit interview. Some companies dont consolidate exit interview data at all others collect it, but dont analyze the results and many still fall short in sharing insights throughout the organization.
All of the valuable information collected during exit interviews goes to waste if you dont analyze it to glean insights, then act upon those insights to make positive changes at your company. Implementing follow-up reporting can transform your exit interview information from rote to revolutionary.
Exit interview reports will vary, depending on the nature of your company and its needs and goals. Think about what to include, who to inform and which actions can and should be taken to achieve the results you need.
What Questions Should Be Asked
Having a structured set of questions is important to compare different peoples answers against each other. But if the interview is face-to-face, remember to allow for flexibility and ask follow-up questions to ensure thorough answers. Here are just a few ideas for relevant and appropriate questions to ask:
Why have you decided to leave the company?
Have you shared your concerns with anyone in the company prior to this?
Was one incident responsible for your decision?
What did you like and dislike about this company?
What did you like and dislike about your position?
What would you change about either?
How was your relationship with your manager/supervisor?
What could he or she have done differently or better?
Did you receive adequate training to do your job properly?
Did you receive adequate feedback on your performance?
Were your managers expectations of your clearly articulated?
Did anyone in this company discriminate against you, harass you or cause hostile working conditions?
Would you consider working for this company again in the future? Would you recommend it as a good place to work for your friends and family?
Do you have any other suggestions or recommendations for areas we could improve?
If applicable, also consider asking questions about their perception of company culture, values, ethics, management styles, benefits and any other relevant topics. Dont forget to explore their answers and ask follow-upsmake it a conversation, not an interrogation.
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Policy Brief & Purpose
Our employee exit interview policy presents our method of gathering useful information about our company from employees who resign. When employees leave our company, they may feel more comfortable sharing experiences they had while working for us.
Specifically, we want to discover:
- Why an employee is leaving.
- What an employee liked or disliked about our company.
- Whether official job descriptions reflect our employees actual work.
- What we can improve to make our workplace more efficient and pleasant.
Tip #: Explain The Purpose Of The Exit Interview
Explain the purpose of the exit interview to the leaving employee right at the beginning of the interview.
State clearly that you conduct these interviews in order to make positive changes and improve your company culture.
Ask for their help and highlight how much youd value their honesty and constructive feedback.
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Did You Feel Supported By Your Manager
Depending on the departing team members job role, they may not have a unique perspective about the organizational culture at the larger level. One area you know the team member has direct experience with is their manager.
Once you ask them if they felt supported by their manager or not, probe into what their manager did or didnt do well.
Possible follow-up questions:
Do you feel that leadership recognized your contributions? If not, how do you think it can be improved?
Can you provide examples to elaborate on your answer?
Voluntary Termination Vs Involuntary: It’s An Important Distinction
Now, you may be asking yourself: does all of this really matter? After all, a termination is a termination, right?
Wrong. Understanding the differences between voluntary termination and involuntary termination are very important for a few reasons.
One is that you need to offer different levels of benefits depending on what type of termination has taken place. We’ve dicussed these a good bit above. But the typical rule-of-thumb is to offer severance and outplacement to workers impacted by a layoff . These benefits help your staff members move on to new roles and help you avoid a lot of the downsides that come with layoff events.
Resignations and firings typically don’t have any sort of benefits attached to them because these are voluntary terminations.
Besides knowing how the offboarding process should work for each, you need to make sure your staff members know the difference, too.
In today’s world, a lot of people say that they’ve been fired when they were really laid off, which doesn’t really matter if they are talking to a friend – but it does matter if they put that in their cover letter or say it in an interview.
The same things occurs with layoffs. Sometimes, people equate layoffs to firings, which just isn’t an apt comparison because the two moves were initiated in vastly different ways.
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Effective Exit Interview Questions
From unhappiness with their job role, working conditions, relationships with other colleagues or the lack of career progression opportunities, to other factors outside the company such as finding another job opportunity that was simply too good for them to turn down. No matter what organisation you run, there will always be times when your employees leave and need replacing.
However, given the volume of potential reasons for an employee leaving, it can be valuable to know why each staff member left, particularly if you have a high employee turnover rate, or youâve had a recent surge in leavers, which could be a sign that something is fundamentally wrong inside your operation. Either way, you wonât know without asking them.
Subsequently, this is where benefits of running an employee exit interview, which has increasingly become the preferred method of collecting this feedback, can help you to identify the triggers behind the departing staff members decision. With comprehensive insights, youâll also be able to pinpoint any common reasons for staff leaving and take the necessary actions to further improve aspects such as working environment, employee happiness and many others and achieve the end goal of reducing staff turnover and improving employee retention.
Examples Of Exit Interview Questions To Ask
Here are 14 exit interview questions to ask employees who are leaving the company on good terms:
1. What prompted you to start looking for another job?
The answer to this question will invariably contain details unique to the individual taking part in the exit interview, but asking it gives you the ability to track common themes. For example, if many employees leave because they were discouraged by a lack of career advancement opportunities, you may want to take another look at your strategies for promotions. And if people are moving on for better pay elsewhere, you should consider raising salaries and instituting a bonus plan.
2. Under what circumstances, if any, would you consider returning to the company?
Boomerang employees are people who leave a job on good terms but later decide to come back. And with todays talent shortage, more employers are eager to keep the door open for top performers who already understand their corporate culture. Thats why its good to know what factors would lure a highly skilled professional back into the fold. But even if they never reapply, asking this exit interview question can help you develop better retention strategies. Dig deeper with follow-up hypothetical scenarios regarding pay, perks, flexible scheduling and greater responsibilities.
3. Do you think management adequately recognized your contributions? If not, how do you think recognition could be improved?
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Include Involuntarily Termed Employees In Your Exit Interview Program
We hear many objections regarding conducting exit interviews for employees who have been involuntary terminated from their positions. However, after conducting exit interviews for more than 15 years, the team here at CRS has learned theres more value than there is harm in conducting these exits. Here are our thoughts about each of the most popular objections:
Its true that in the case of involuntary terms, HR knows why the persons employment was terminated, but exit interviews are about a lot more than reason for leaving. Good exit interviews secure feedback on a variety of topics, and these exit interviews often identify discrepancies between the employees experience and the supervisors feedback. Exit interviews can also reveal trends if an involuntarily termed employee has a similar experience to a voluntarily termed employee, leadership is in a better position to address it. If multiple people were let go for the same reason, exit interviews help reveal insight into why this might impact future hiring decisions or reinforce the need for proper orientation and training. If employee after employee states that they truly dont know why their employment was terminated, or if they never received any documentation or notice about their termination, employers can use this information to provide their managers with better tools.
Most Common Exit Interview Questions
An exit interview is an open discussion between an employee and their employer. Organizations conduct exit interviews to get an employee’s view about their company and feedback on what they do well and what they could do better.
There are some common exit questions that your current employer might ask when you resign. Taking part in an exit interview is not mandatory, but it’s an opportunity to outline why you’ve chosen to part ways. Regardless of your reasons, maintain a professional and thoughtful tone when providing feedback. Your comments may lead to some improvements for your colleagues and future hires.
Here, we delve into the top eight exit interview questions and how to answer them:
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How Would You Describe The Culture Of Our Company
This question isn’t probing for specific examples but instead will help you identify trends. As you keep track of employee exit interviews, watch for trends throughout to help you identify real concerns. Identifying trends can also help you separate legitimate concerns from the personal opinion of employees who are emotional or feel negatively about the company.
When Is The Best Time To Conduct One
There is some debate around when is the best time to conduct an exit interview.
Many companies choose to conduct them as a routine part of the offboarding process during an employees last week on the job. Some employers do them several weeks or even months after the individual leaves, either by phone or online survey.
The most important point to consider regarding timing is how heated the departure was in terms of emotions and conflict with other members of the organization. If the exit was, shall we say, rough, then it might be a good idea to conduct the interview a few weeks after the employee has left, so the dust has settled and they can provide their feedback with a calm perspective.
If it was a smooth departure, then conducting the interview during the employees final week is suitable.
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Voluntary Termination: A Recap
In the end, a voluntary termination is one where the employee being let go has taken an action that has led to termination. This is typically a resignation, though a firing is also a voluntary termination.
Sometimes, businesses may offer voluntary layoffs or retirement packages to help downsize their workforces in a way that gives employees more choice. While these are considered a voluntary termination, they are handled, typically, like involuntary terminations.
Involuntary termination, on the other hand, is when an employee is let go for a reason that is out of their control. Typically, this is a layoff event, business closing, or something along those lines.
Want to learn more about voluntary terminations or how to handle them? Check out our guides here:
What Criteria Did You Use When Seeking A New Employer
How you answer this exit interview question gives your current employer insights into why you’re choosing to work at a new company. Share the reasons for leaving the job and what appealed to you about your new position. For example, you may be interested in working for a smaller organization or an office closer to your house. You can also discuss your salary expectations and other variables that factored into your decision.
Example: âMy new employer provides additional training opportunities to help me advance my career. The smaller team structure allows me to work more closely with experienced managers and learn from them in a way I couldn’t in my role with this company.I see more opportunities for promotions in my new position.â
Why Exit Surveys Are The Best Way To Capture Feedback
There was a time when the traditional face to face interview was one of the few methods available for gaining feedback from departing employees. However, with the emergence of the internet and online survey tools, that changed rapidly with employee surveys becoming a popular alternative, and usage has grown rapidly in recent years.
When you consider how stressful the prospect of a formal exit interview is to most employees, itâs not so surprising why face to face interviews have become less popular. Not only do they make employees feel extremely uncomfortable, they absorb a lot labour resources on the part of the employer, and the data gathered is often unstructured and at risk of bias. However, in some scenarios, such as where there has been a gross misconduct or some other serious issue on the part of the employee, a detailed face to face exit interview to protect the business can still offer significant value.
One way to help create standardised survey questions is through leveraging the use of survey templates, that are pre-populated with example questions, which you can also customise. If youâre looking to revamp your employee interview process and need some sample exit interview questions to help move you forward, you might like to view our own exit interview template for ideas.
Would You Consider Changing Your Mind And Continuing To Work With Us
An employer may ask this exit interview question to see if there’s anything they can do to retain you as an employee. Considering this question beforehand will allow you to provide a confident answer. If a promotion or salary increase would change your mind, you can be honest about the other opportunity at your new company.
If you’re not interested in staying, make that clear without closing the door to future opportunities. Maintaining a positive working relationship with past employers is vital for building your professional network.
Example: âIn my five years working with this company, you provided me with great learning opportunities and valuable skills. I loved working with the team and enjoyed coming to work every day. However, there are more career development and learning opportunities in my new role. I would always be open to working here again in the future under the right circumstances. But for now, I’m confident in my decision to take on a new role with a new organization.”
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Final Thoughts On Exit Interviews
Exit interviews are a very useful HR tool for gaining valuable insights into a companys ability to attract and retain the best employees.
However, you shouldnt rely on exit interviews as the only source of information about employee experience in your company.
You should conduct recurring employee interviews, check-ins and surveys in order to get feedback and obtain data on employee experience, job satisfaction, employee engagement and employee retention in your company.
Here are some useful resources to help you get started with these useful HR practices:
Tip #: Create A Comfortable Atmosphere
The key to a successful exit interview is to ensure all the required conditions for an open, honest conversation.
Assure your leaving employee that everything they say will be confidential and anonymous.
That way, you will create an atmosphere in which employees who are leaving will feel comfortable and safe to state their opinions and share their feelings freely.
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Benefit #: Prevent Legal Issues
Exit interviews are also important because they provide an opportunity to arrange all legal issues before an employee leaves a company.
By reminding employees about their obligations with the company, such as a covenant not to compete, invention and patent policies and maintaining trade secrets, an employer can minimize the likelihood of potential legal problems and lawsuits.
Would You Consider Staying On
Employers might ask this question to discover whether additions to the job, such as benefits or additional training, might make it more attractive. Employees can be honest in their response and consider whether they would truly want to stay and what factors might affect their decision.
Example answer:I have worked here for a long time, and this company has provided me with valuable skills and learning opportunities. I have enjoyed working here, but I feel that my expertise and career goals would be highly prioritized at my new position. However, if I received the right offer, I would strongly consider returning.
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