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How To Run An Exit Interview

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Youve heard the saying, People dont leave jobs, they leave managers.

While theres some debate over how accurate this statement is, the general sentiment holds water.

If you work at a great company but your manager doesnt share information, doesnt meet with you regularly, and doesnt work with you to create a career development plan, then the most expedient option is to find a new job.

Complaining about the manager or requesting a transfer to another department can easily backfire.

This is why its important for HR departments to get someone above the departing employees manager to lead exit interviews.

One bad manager can lead to the departure of several excellent employees over time.

Take the example of one financial services company that hired a new mid-level manager for a specific department.

When the new manager was hired, there were 17 employees. A year later, there were only eight after four resignations and five transfers.

When senior management reviewed the exit interviews of the departing employees, a clear picture emerged. The new manager lacked key managerial skills like communication with team members and outlining a clear vision.

Plus, employees were frustrated with the companys policy of hiring new managers based on their technical skills rather than their managerial skills. Consequently, the company made adjustments.

What Would Need To Change For You To Consider Working Here Again In The Future

This question sounds similar to the earlier question, What were the main reasons you decided to take this new job offer? but its different for a few reasons.

First, you pose this question to make it clear that there is no ill will.

It makes it clear that the exit interview is a sincere attempt to learn why the employee left and how the company can keep employees like them in the future.

Second, this question makes it clear that the employee can always come back.

Smart companies maintain a relationship with departing top performers, so they can potentially re-recruit them down the road.

In some cases, this works to the companys benefit since that employee returns with deeper insights about the market and competitors.

If an employee says that a more collaborative work culture, more flexibility in terms of work hours, or more challenging opportunities are important for them, then this information informs re-recruitment efforts down the road.

Third, it reduces the likelihood that an employee will be a negative brand ambassador for the company.

Like attracts like, which means top performers likely know other top performers.

If departing top performers advise people in their network not to apply to your company, it can seriously impact your ability to attract top talent.

Free Exit Interview Template

Finding the good in goodbye

Its never fun to have an employee leave your company. But, when you conduct a proper exit interview, you can, at the very least, learn what caused them to look elsewhere. Remember that you cant expect an employee to stay forever, and at the end of the day, they need to find the best fit for their needs. Dont take it personally!

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Have Your Hr Team Conduct The Interview

It is vital that an impartial party conducts your exit interviews. Some firms have supervisors or team leaders conducting the exit interviews for people they previously managed. This is very unlikely to garner any truly honest or usable insight. An employee is much less likely to speak openly with a superior, particularly given that issues with managers are very common reasons for employees moving on. Your HR team should be conducting exit interviews, and as an unbiased party it will make it easier for the departing employee to be honest and raise any concerns or issues they have experienced. After all, this information is what you need to create a comprehensive exit-interview report.

How To Run A Successful Exit Interview

How to Conduct the Best Exit Interview: The Complete Guide

3 min read Exit interviews are a great way to identify trends in why people leave the organisation and learn from them to reduce attrition. Find out how to run an exit interview with our best practice guide

The most effective interview programs:

  • Encourage open dialogue by using online surveys, which result in more candid feedback than a more traditional face-to-face interview
  • Are automated through a digital open door by linking an employee feedback platform to your HRIS to automatically send a request for feedback when an employee hands in their notice, reducing the amount of time HR needs to spend manually administering the surveys
  • Understand the impact of attrition by correlating data from different sources. For example, by tying in your exit interview data with 360 performance data or employee engagement data you can start to identify regrettable and non-regrettable attrition.
  • Track trends over time so you can measure improvements and link them to KPIs such as staff turnover costs to prove the ROI of your improvements

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Make The Most Of An Employees Departure

Departing employees are as much a part of everyday life as new ones. Businesses and people change, and a bit of change does everyone good.

Nevertheless, it is rarely an enjoyable experience when someone leaves. Structured exit interviews can help you to make the best of the situation.

You gain important insights on how to better retain your employees, and you get to part company with your employee on the best possible terms. Everybody wins, and for that reason, employee exit interviews are a must for every HR department.

Exit Interviews: Are We Doing Them Wrong

bySeptember 5, 2022, 10:52 am252 Views

Nobody likes saying goodbye. Its hard parting ways with employees, especially after a long-term partnership. While the exit interview as a concept is nothing but incredibly beneficial, its success relies heavily on execution. Which exit interview questions should you ask? How will you conduct the interview itself? Is there an exit interview template you can use?

When it comes to exit interviews, there are many amazing resources that offer amazing insight and great sample questions. As Teamflect, we wanted to offer you a different approach to conducting exit interviews. One that may initially sound counter-intuitive but that we are positive will yield great results in the long run with your exit interviews.

In this article, we want to turn your attention to conducting online exit interviews through templates, which can be more beneficial than conducting them face to face or through a video call. The idea might sound a bit controversial but today, we want to show you how a simpler, easier, and digitized approach with less elbow grease, just might be more effective in the long run.

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How To Conduct An Effective Employee Exit Interview

An exit interview is a golden opportunity to glean important insights about your organization, from how it is run to how employees feel about you.

If you do exit interviews right, you will be able to make important changes to how your organization does workforce planning that will yield benefits years down the road — and slash turnover rate. Here are five key steps you should take when conducting an exit meeting.

Make The Exit Interview Voluntary

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Not all your departing employees will want to participate in an exit interview. This may be due to personal or other reasons. Whatever the reason may be, you should not force them to take the interview.

Forcing employees to participate in an exit interview may be illegal, depending on your countrys labor law. It also defeats the whole purpose of the procedure, as the employee will likely not provide helpful answers to aid your cause. They will probably give dishonest and hasty replies, or answer most questions unfavorably.

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Generate Reports Summarizing Important Insights From Exit Interviews On A Quarterly Basis

Exit interviews should feed into a positive feedback loop, so create a process that ensures insights from exit interviews are captured, summarized, and reported.

This could mean giving an HR specialist the job of reviewing exit interview notes, aggregating data points for structured responses, and summarizing the main remarks from open-ended responses.

On a monthly or quarterly basis depending on the within the company HR should share its findings with senior leadership.

  • 50% of departing employees identified as top performers said their top reason for leaving was lack of development opportunity
  • 75% of departing employees said a poor relationship with their manager was one of their top 3 reasons for leaving
  • 25% of departing employees identified as top performers said they would consider working for the company again in the future

These are impactful, data-backed statements that inspire senior leaders to take action and that solidify HRs role as a strategic function, not a purely administrative department.

Benefit : Increase Employee Retention

People leave every day. Nevertheless, it is always a shock when it happens.With an employee’s decision to leave for the greener pastures comes the normal grief of finding a suitable replacement while considering the day-to-day impact that an exiting employee will have on the team.

Do you know that the reasons behind departing employees are continually changing? Do you have any data to back up the reasons for the high employee turnover? Is it the job description? Or is the low salary the real dealbreaker?

These are only a couple of the problems that an exit face-to-face interview will help you with.

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What Should An Exit Interview Cover

Start by letting the employee know, in advance, the goal of the discussion and what topics you want to cover. This will allow them to prepare themselves matter, and will typically result in a higher quality of answers. Make it clear that you are planning to have a conversation that is:

  • Based on their personal opinion

Should Exit Interviews Occur For Voluntary And Involuntary Termination

The Best Way To Say at the Exit Interview Which You Leave a Fantastic ...

You should conduct an employee exit interview regardless of whether the employee resigned or was terminated. Even if the employee had no reason to leave, they will likely still be able to come up with some constructive feedback that your team can use.

Dont Forget: If things are ending on bad terms, though, it is best to decide on a case-by-case basis whether an exit interview makes sense. In some cases, it may be smarter to simply let the matter rest. Context is key.

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Distill The Answers Into Insights

Identify patterns you see from different exit interviews, and use that data to draw conclusions on which feedback you should use to improve the employee experience moving forward. As mentioned, take similar notes for each exit interview. To make it easier, you could use a survey software that helps you collect the employees written answers.

Your Top Recommendations For Improvement

Identify the top one or two areas for improvement within the organization. These may also be the factors that would have kept you from leaving . These recommendations may include things like more flexible work options, more competitive compensation , a culture that is more welcoming of dissenting views, better upward feedback mechanisms, and so on.

Taking the time to share the information above can help focus the organizations improvement efforts. Good leaders make things better for others, and the exit interview is a small, but important, way to contribute to this aim.

  • Rebecca Zucker is an executive coach and a founding Partner at Next Step Partners, a boutique leadership development firm. Her clients include Amazon, Clorox, Morrison Foerster, the James Irvine Foundation, Skoll Foundation, and high-growth technology companies like DocuSign and Dropbox. You can follow her on Twitter: .

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Exit Interviews Will Improve Your Company Culture

Exit interviews are the key for improving your business from the inside out. Knowing what makes some employees leave can help you keep the employees you already have. As a result, youll improve your company culture, reduce turnover, and boost productivity leading to a better and better workplace over time.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Originally published Nov 11, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated November 11 2021


The Basics Of Exit Interviews

Employee Exit Interview Questions to Improve Retention

Most exit interviews are conducted in the privacy of an office or spare room. Generally they are one-on-one discussions between the leaving employee and employer or a HR staff member. For the purpose of privacy, if HR conducts the interview they may collect results from multiple exit interviews and share the feedback anonymously with the employer.

Unlike a job interview, the employee in question is not competing with other candidates or being investigated for misconduct, so you dont need to follow a formal structure or checklist. By keeping the process casual and relaxed, this will help the employee feel at ease and be more willing to provide honest feedback.

Try having the exit interview leading up to the employees last day. But dont suggest having the interview on their actual last day. At this point, the employee may be stressed and will want to bid farewell to close friends and colleagues.

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How Would You Improve Employee Morale

Just hours ago, this employee was in the thick of things. He was dealing with company culture and being influenced by others morale first-hand. Living through that on a day-to-day basis gives him unique insight into how that morale and culture can be improved. This is the time to find out what he thinks.

How To Conduct An Exit Interview: Questions To Ask And Tips

Do you know how to conduct an exit interview that will help you better understand what you could have done to keep a departing employee?

Really effective exit interviews can give you that insight. They can teach you ways to repeat good experiences and avoid bad ones .

For employees, exit interviews are one of the last deep conversational interactions they have with your company. It should be their chance to give a review of their experience, an opportunity that affirms the contributions theyve made to your organization.

When both parties focus on these learning and knowledge-sharing goals, exit interviews can help working relationships end on a good note. Many times the feedback employees provide is positive, and when its not, it gives you valuable insight on how to fix it for your existing employees.

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What Were Your Criteria For Choosing A New Employer

An employee’s answer to this question could help their organization gain insight as to why they chose a different employer or position. Employees can share the specific reasons they searched for a new job. For example, their new role may include benefits not provided by their current employer.

Example answer:In my new position, my employer will provide additional training so that I can advance my position. With the resources I will have available, I expect to earn my sales certification within six months.

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How To Run Exit Interviews

If your exit interviews are useful, then youâre doing something wrong

First of all, exit interviews should be voluntary. The information collected should be shared only on a need-to-know basis and the employee should be allowed to request another person be present at the meeting if they want. In a corporate environment, exit interviews are usually conducted by human resources personnel and sometimes outsourced to an independent HR service provider.

The interview may be conducted in person, over the phone, through chat or email, or in a survey . Interactive methods such as speaking in person or over the phone are usually more effective than surveys because they allow the interviewer to reply the employees responses to the questions and develop follow-up questions that can generate more detailed feedback.

It is essential that you listen carefully and ask a lot of questions so that you catch the employees subtle differences in meaning. Write down what the employee says for easy memory and to also encourage them to share more. We tend to subconsciously give better and longer answers when we are being interviewed by someone who is taking occasional notes than when they write nothing at all.

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S To Conducting A Exit Interview

by DP Taylor | Updated Aug. 5, 2022 – First published on May 18, 2022

Image source: Getty Images

One of the most important functions of human resource management is handling the departure of an employee.

When a worker leaves, they are taking vital information with them — not to mention the power to influence your brand’s reputation with those who are curious about your business. Thats where an exit interview becomes extremely useful.

Once the employee has decided to leave, you might not think that talent management is important anymore — after all, the talent is not going to work for you anymore and may even be going to a competitor. But that employee may be able to help you in ways you can’t even imagine.

A well-run exit interview can help you learn far more about your workforce than even the best employee evaluation, so it’s important not to waste this opportunity. We’ve drawn up a five-step process with critical exit interview tips to ensure that you don’t.

Example Questions The Managers

  • How much did your managers actions match their words ex. did they do what they said they would?
  • An employees relationship with their manager can have a huge impact on their engagement and job satisfaction. Trusting your manager to follow up on what they say helps support a good working relationship.

  • What challenges were present when working with your manager?
  • An employees upwards feedback can help strengthen the management of your replacement hire. It can also highlight when to explore training options or review performance levels.

  • How were feedback and ideas exchanged and did you feel it worked?
  • Employees that receive constructive feedback and are able to suggest ideas back can feel valued and supported. As they progress in their role, employees feel greater job satisfaction.

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