Should I Talk About Burnout
If youâre leaving due to burnout, help them understand how you got to that point, and how it affected your job performance. Your experience wouldnât be unusual. In 2021 Limeade, a software company dedicated to employee well-being, polled 1,000 U.S. workers whoâd recently changed jobs, and 40% of respondents reported leaving their previous jobs because of burnout. Companies want to know how to retain their employees. âSometimes burnout comes from seemingly small things that compound over time,â McCreary says. âSo help your team see how you reached this point. Ideally, this feedback will help other employees in similar situations.â
The Reason For Leaving
Sometimes, the best way to find out why somebody left is simply to ask them. Employees know their own minds about resigning intent to leave and actually leaving are strongly correlated.
This is phrased to focus on the employees wants and desires within the new position. If theyre looking elsewhere for this, you may want to investigate bringing it to your company.
50 percent of Americans have left a job to get away from their manager at some point in their career, according to a Gallup employee engagement survey. If employees are resigning because of a direct cause, this needs immediate attention.
A Guide To Giving Feedback Without Burning Bridges
An exit interview probably isnât the first thing on your mind when you decide to quit your job â nor should it be â but at some point, the issue is probably going to surface. After all, at many companies, an exit interview is a standard part of the offboarding process, right along with notifying your team of your departure or returning your computer to the IT department.
While exit interviews provide you with a great opportunity to make your voice heard, they can also provoke anxiety: what if your soon-to-be-former employer doesnât like what you have to say? When handled correctly, though, exit interviews are no cause for worry. In fact, they can provide you with closure, put you at ease and help you move onto your next great opportunity.
In this guide, weâll share how to prepare for an exit interview so that you provide your employer with the feedback they need while avoiding bad blood and burnt bridges.
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How To Summarize Exit Interview Results
Recording the information you glean from this process is vital to where you go next. How to analyze exit interview data varies from business to business, but you must record the information you gather, one way or another.
The opportunity to cross-reference your findings with those of others whoâve already left the company is a must. Whether itâs a page of structured notes, a spreadsheet, or applied into the relevant area of your recruiting program or specialist exit interview softwareârecording the data is a must.
There are plenty of suggestions on tracking exit interview data and the best ways to record the information. The most important action, though, is what you do with it.
If you just drop it into the employeeâs leaving file, the whole process has done you no good. Use the information to draw attention to your businessâs failings and low performing areas.
We suggest keeping copies of all the exit interview data in the same folder or spreadsheet to make direct comparisons. The strongest systems will reveal patterns in the finest details, and they can be as damaging as the most obvious flaws in your system.
How Did The Job Match Expectations
The job may have perfectly met the employees expectations, or maybe it wasnt exactly what they were looking for when they were thinking about the next step in their career. Regardless, this question will help you determine where you could be clearer in your job postings and in your company image.
What to Look For
Listen for I thought I would be doing more of X or I was looking more of an X type of company. This will help you better refine your job postings and the way you represent your business online. If an employee was looking to work at a startup and youre an enterprise firm, youll want to screen future candidates for these expectations.
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This Isn’t A Deposition
The last tip we have is that you shouldn’t try to treat this like it is a legal proceeding.
Exit interviews are usually performed when a person is leaving on their own accord, meaning that they will likely be willing to have an open chat. If they are leaving because they disagree with something at your company, they are also more likely to say something.
That being said, there’s no need to take this so seriously that it stresses the person out because if you do come off like they are trying to ‘get’ them with a question, they will clam up.
Instead, try to keep things light but also get the information you want. Don’t hold it against the employee that they are leaving. Try to learn from it and see if there was anything you could have done to retain them.
Can I Decline My Exit Interview
Except in rare cases when it is specified in the terms and conditions of your employment, you have no obligation to participate in your companys exit interview. You do not owe them your parting observations and you can politely opt-out. Just be brief and to the point without a long excuse:
- Thank you for scheduling an exit interview, but Ive already provided all the feedback I have to offer.
- Im using this time to say goodbye to coworkers and wrap up my responsibilities for a smooth transition. I dont have time for an exit interview right now.
- look forward to new challenges and opportunities.
However, if you decide to politely decline the exit interview then you need to make sure that HR completes the other parts of the offboarding process. The exit interview is normally combined with other elements, including an explanation of COBRA eligibility, reminders of your non-disclosure agreement terms, as well as final paycheck and PTO payout arrangements.
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Exit Interviews: Your Ultimate Guide
22 min read A good exit interview process will provide simple, actionable data and insights that clearly pinpoint areas employers can work on to reduce unwanted employee attrition. Heres all you need to know about exit surveys, with tips and example questions
An employee has handed in their notice. Maybe they just couldnt cut it. Maybe they got a better offer. Maybe you decided their time with the company had simply run its course. Who knows?
But where it is unwanted attrition losing high-performing or highly engaged employees for reasons that could have been prevented its a critical business issue. High employee turnover affects a companys bottom line: It costs a company approximately 33% of anemployees annual salary to hire a replacement. Losing high-performing and engaged team members can affect other employees, your brand value, and your ability to deliver high-quality service and products.
So when an employee resigns, companies conduct exit interviews to gather honest feedback and understand the reasons behind their departure. Exit interviews are a greatway to identify trends in why people leave the organization and learn from them to boost employee retention.
- lack of advancement opportunity
- occasionally, conflict with a co-worker or manager
How To Conduct A Successful Exit Interview
Different exit surveys will gather different types of feedback. Some ask for direct feedback on the persons manager while others just ask about the role and reasons for leaving.
If an exit survey isnt clear to interpret you may want to consider redesigning your survey
Exit interviews should also allow you to dissect data by performance levels, tenure, and role.
Unlike an engagement survey, where you deal with constructs built around employee attitudes, an exit survey should be much more practical and simple to design and interpret. If an exit survey isnt clear to interpret you may want to consider redesigning your survey.
It can be useful to include a few open text fields in your survey too often they elicit rich detail and nuances about an employees decision to leave compared to multiple-choice questions.
While historically these have been difficult to turn into insights, text analyticssoftware can process language and sentiment analysis to allow you to automatically analyze many thousands of open-text responses.
This then creates topics, themes, and trends to allow you to spot patterns and interpret the data.
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Schedule The Interview At The Right Time
Most employees will provide two weeks’ notice, so consider scheduling the exit interview around when the employee has around a week left. At this point in their departure, they should still be invested in their role and open to sharing their thoughts. However, some organizations decide to conduct the exit interview after the employee has left the company, which leads to a more casual conversation that gives the employee a lot of space to answer your questions.
Do You Feel Your Job Description Changed Since You Were Hired How
The way we work is constantly in flux, so it should come as no surprise if an employee indicates that his job changed while he worked at your company. Take the information this employee gives and use it to update the job description before starting the hiring process. That way, you can be sure you are looking for the right skills to fill the vacant position.
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Exit Interview Questionnaire: 12 Questions To Try
What questions should you ask during an employee exit interview? This structured exit interview questionnaire will help you to address all the important topics and obtain relevant results that you can then meaningfully evaluate.
If you are well prepared, you will be able to go into the conversation confidently, avoid heated discussions, or superficial verbal sparring. In short, everything will work out perfectly.
These are twelve exit interview sample questions you can use for your company:
Best Practice: Notice the wide range of topics covered in these exit interview questions? Thats because an exit interview should not simply focus on the employees exit. You should take this opportunity to gain insights into all areas relevant to employee satisfaction. These will then influence retention .
Sample Exit Interview Questionnaire Questions
Okay, so you’re probably wondering what you should actually ask.
Well, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Why did you search for a new job?
- If you didn’t conduct a job search, how did you land a new role?
- What did you like most about your job here?
- What can the organization improve on?
- What could have been done to keep you working here?
- Do you feel like management gave proper recognition for your work?
- Do you feel like you were given the proper resources to perform your tasks?
- Would you consider working here again?
- Are there any other concerns you’d like to share about the company?
That final question is where you will hopefully get your employee to share their feelings. But, as you can see, all of these questions are primed to dig into the reasons why the person is leaving and what could have been done to save that from happening.
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Do’s And Donts For Exit Interviews
Here are more dos and donts to follow during your exit interview.
DO: Act professionally. Just like in any other interview, behave professionally in your exit interview. That doesnt mean you cant be critical or offer feedback on areas that need workbut avoid being nasty. And as much as possible, be positiveeven if you werent fond of the job, coworkers or company vibe. If you can, try to give at least one compliment during the conversation.
DONT: Complain, vent or be rude. Think of this as the flipside to the Do: act professionally advice. Your exit interview is not an appropriate time to complain about coworkers, a manager or assignments. Above all, be politeits fine to voice a critique, so long as its politely worded. Basically, dont be mean or hurtful.
DO: Share specific and helpful information. Was there a problem or situation that precipitated your job hunt and eventual departure? Thats something you can mention. If you do, keep it factualfocus on what happened as opposed to how you felt, and share specific examples. And, do your best to be a problem-solver, suggesting solutions where appropriate. That way, youll sound constructive and not like a complainer.
Dont Lead The Conversation Guide It
As the interviewer, you might feel a temptation to lead the conversation to the topics you badly want to talk about. This is especially true of founders, who often feel passionately about the business they have built and have strong ideas about how they think it should be run.
However, its a mistake to seize control of this conversation. By all means, guide it to the topics you think might be relevant, but the goal is to hear what the leaver has to say – so let them take the interview where they want to take it.
You may find that it yields unexpected and surprising answers.
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How To Answer Exit Interview Questions
But have you wondered about an exit interview? And what are exit interview questions and how do you answer them?
Dont worry, we have you covered.
In this blog, we will talk about everything regarding exit interview questions and also provide interview tips.
Write A Brief Explanation Of The Interviews Purpose
Before the questions, there should be a written explanation about the exit interviews purpose. Let the respondents understand why they need to fill up the form. They have the right to know its purpose. Thats because youll be using their responses to the companys benefit. And also, you must assure them that youll keep their identity private. Exit interview forms are confidential files. You shouldnt disclose them to anyone, especially to supervisors.
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Dont Offer Too Little Too Late
An exit interview shouldnt be the first time employees are asked how they feel about working for you. If you want to make the exit interview process count, you should incorporate a constructive feedback culture among your employees from day one. Have frequent formal and informal discussions with your employees. That way, youre more likely to get honest, constructive feedback when employees leave. Relying on exit interviews alone is like only reading the last page of a book it simply doesnt make any sense without the rest of the story.
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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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How Should The Interview Be Carried Out
Wherever possible, the interview should be carried out in person. Of course, you can ask an employee to complete the questionnaire on their own but a) they may not bother and b) you miss the opportunity to delve into some answers and probe for any underlying issues. Obviously, there are occasions when you may have no option but to ask the employee to complete it themselves and return it to you.
The actual interview should be as informal as possible and could even be done over lunch or a virtual coffee via zoom the employee should feel relaxed and definitely not overwhelmed or anxious about completing the exit interview. The person carrying out the interview needs to be able to listen well, write down all the relevant information, and recognise when to deep dive into an answer.
Why Do Employees Leave
You may have heard the phrase employees dont leave jobs, they leave managers,before? Well, thats not entirely true. You could have a lovely manager, but still decide to leave your role for other valid reasons. The most common reasons behind employee turnover fall into two categories professional and personal:
- other family responsibilities
Whatever the reason for their departure, you owe it to your company to find out why. If their reasons fall into the professional category, youll gain valuable insight into how to fix those problems for your current employees. And, even if they do fall into the personal category, its another opportunity for you to gauge the level of employee engagement and employee satisfaction at your company.
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