Exit Interviews Offer Valuable Insight
Sending employees off on a high note will do nothing but help your business. Employees are more likely to be brand ambassadors for your company in the future if they leave feeling happy and heard. This can lead to future business opportunities with their next employers. It also mitigates the risk of angry and emotional employees doing harm to your business.
The last thing you want is to have a disgruntled employee leave scathing online reviews about your business or dismantling your brand reputation. Conducting an exit interview gives unhappy employees a platform to air their grievances. Lastly, supporting your employees career growth and decisions is simply the right thing to do. Employees come and go, so being a positive part of their journey gives former employees something to happily look back on in the future.
Get Started With Your Own Exit Interview Survey
If your company has experienced high turnover, low employee satisfaction scores or you want to boost employee retention, capitalize on your Exit Interviews data.
The insight from employees, who have nothing to lose and want to share their honest experiences, can highlight areas for improvement and underlying issues.
Get started with our free exit interview survey template, designed with best practices in mind
How To Conduct The Exit Interview
Whether you decide to ask all or only some of these questions, its vital to approach exit interviews with the right mentality and a defined plan of action. According to Harvard Business Review, exit interviews depend upon two elements to be effective:
1) The employees honesty & forthrightness
2) The organizations willingness to change
Lets discuss honesty first. Employees who leave your organization may not express their true thoughts for a variety of reasons. If employees leave on negative terms, they may be unwilling to offer their feedback because they have a good riddance attitude. Others may be worried about burning bridges with former managers. In that same HBR article, an HR professional at a European mining company explained, Are they really going to tell you theyre leaving because they dont like their boss? Probably not, because they want references.
One of the upper managers here at BambooHR shared with me some of his best tips for conducting such interviews:
Once youve set the right tone and encouraged honest employee feedback, its up to you and your organization to do something about it. HBRs research revealed that, when asked for examples of a specific action taken as the result of an exit interview, fewer than one-third of executives could identify one. That means about two-thirds of existing programs appear to be mostly talk with little productive follow-up.
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What You Liked Most About Your Job And The Company
Include positive elements of your experience at the organization what you liked and appreciated most about the job, your team, and the organization. Just as individuals need to hear positive feedback to know what they should continue doing, so do organizations. This could include specific benefits offered, investments made in your learning and development, or an aspect of the company culture that you most valued.
What Qualities Do You Think We Should Look For In Your Replacement
Question fourteen dealt with skills. Question fifteen deals with qualities. Yes, the job may have changed from one that focused on phone communication to one that focused on written communication . But it also may have changed in regard to some of the softer qualities like patience, people skills, and organization.
Asking the outgoing employee what qualities you should look for in her replacement is an excellent indication of this change.
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What To Say In An Exit Interview
Good leaders make things better for others, and the exit interview is a small, but important, way to contribute to this aim. What should you include in your feedback? The author offers six suggestions: 1) Your reason for leaving 2) How well your job was structured and if you had the appropriate tools to succeed 3) If you had opportunities to learn and grow 4) How you feel about your manager and other leaders 5) What you liked most about your job and the company and 6) Your top recommendations for improvement.
Given that most people will hold multiple jobs over the course of their professional lives, you may have the opportunity to participate in an exit interview at one or more points during your career. While not all organizations conduct exit interviews, if you do have the opportunity to participate in one, it is a chance to provide helpful feedback to the organization, so that it can learn and continuously improve for current and future employees.
Whether you are leaving to pursue a new opportunity, escape a toxic leader or environment, seek better work-life balance, make a career change, or all of the above, you dont want to make the exit interview an emotional venting session. Be calm and constructive, sticking to the facts while being both open and direct in your responses. Youll want to include the following information in your feedback.
If You Had Opportunities To Learn And Grow
According to a Gallup study, 32% of people leave their jobs due to lack of career advancement or promotion opportunities. Youll want to share the extent to which you felt that you had a visible career path within the organization and if you were given opportunities to gain new skills and experiences during your tenure, such as stretch assignments or high-stakes projects, that enabled you to grow in your career. You should also share if your manager regularly provided actionable feedback that allowed you to learn continuously and get better at your job.
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Would You Recommend This Company To A Friend Why Or Why Not
Even though they ultimately decided to leave your company, former employees can be excellent referral sources. In an ideal world, every exiting employee would answer yes to this question but the reality is there may be some who are so unhappy with their experience that they would feel uncomfortable referring their contacts. In this case, identify the issues and make corrections as quickly as possible.
Useful Exit Interview Questions + Template
Exit interviews are a valuable window into employee turnover. Incorporating an effective exit interview process into your employee separation routine will help you uncover valuable information regarding your employee relations from the employees perspective.
Not sure what to ask your departing employees? Heres a list of common exit interview questions to get you started. Youll want to tailor these to the specifics of your organization, but this is a good place to start.
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Do You Have Any Other Issues Or Comments Youd Like To Address
This is a very open-ended question, so it invites the employee to comment on topics that may not have been addressed in the other questions. Its also potentially volatile in that it can reveal things you werent aware of and may not want to hear.
But those things you werent aware of can fester and spread and infect your employees writ large, not just a select few. Better to get it out in the open now so you can make the necessary changes.
Why Are You Leaving Your Position Or What Led You To The Decision To Leave
Your employer may ask this question to find out if you are leaving because you have been offered a better opportunity or for personal reasons. Try to maintain a balance between honesty and politeness when answering this question. If applicable, mention the skills or experience youre hoping to get from your next job.
Example:I have really enjoyed working here, and I have learned a lot over the course of my employment. However, I feel like I have accomplished all I can in this role and need something different. While I have learned much at this job and honed my skills and experience, I feel it is time to go in a different direction. I have gained invaluable experience for the future, and I feel the time is right to expand my experience and strengthen my abilities.
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Best Exit Interview Question #1
Why are you leaving this job?
This is usually the first question as the HR wants to know why you are leaving the job, as simple as that. The answer to this question will give them an idea if a single event was the reason behind your resignation or a series of events prompted this decision. The HR also wants to know if there were any reasons like office atmosphere or the behavior of colleges that drove you to this decision. They want to know if any of this would affect the future employee who will take your position.
Also, they want to know what they could have done to retain you at the job. Most businesses will be glad if you are as honest as possible with your answers because this helps them for the future.
Questions Hr Should Ask During Exit Interviews
When an employee decides to move on, the company is losing a valuable resource. Exit interviews can be an essential asset to help businesses determine whether they’re doing all in their power to retain their employees.
However, the data collected in an exit interview depends on what questions the interviewer asks. Without the right impetus, there’s no way that the company can garner the information it needs to improve its employee retention. In a time where talent is difficult to find, a company needs to do all it can to keep what it has.
To help, 16 professionals from Forbes Human Resources Council examine some of the key questions the Human Resources department should include in exit interviews to make them worthwhile.
Members share some important questions to ask departing employees during their exit interview.
1. Did You Feel Valued And Appreciated?
A question HR should ask is, “Did you feel like you and your work were valued and appreciated at *company name*?” We’ve all heard the adage: “People don’t quit their job they quit their boss. It is human nature and part of the human psyche to need to be valued and appreciated by those we look up to. Taking the time to give specific and sincere appreciation to those who work for us is crucial in establishing productive tenure. – Brandon Batt, Savory
2. What Made You Look For A New Job?
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Best Exit Interview Question #10
Were you given clear goals and objectives?
There are lots of actions that you can take no matter the kind of answer that you get from this question. If it is a yes, the business needs to find out who lays out the goals and objectives and the person-in-charge of making sure that they are held accountable. If not, they need to find out why didnt the action plans that were designed for the entire company did not trickle down to this particular employee. In short, if the answer is yes, then make sure that it is replicated. If the answer is no, find out where there are roadblocks and work on it.
Would You Consider Staying On
Your employer might ask this question to discover whether additions to the job, such as benefits or additional training, might make it more attractive. Be honest in your response and consider whether you would truly want to stay and what factors might affect your decision.
Example: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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How Bryq Can Help
Exit interviews give you rare insight into the inner workings of your company culture. They show you what is working, what is not working, and what is missing. Additionally, the best way to improve your company culture is to hire for culture add. Companies should onboard new employees whose qualities will help them build and add to their culture. Bryqs talent assessment software allows you to find candidates whose personality traits and characteristics will help you to build upon your culture. Let us help you fix culture issues so that you can continue to retain great talent!
Did You Feel Equipped To Do Your Job
Not having the right skills and knowledge can be a major cause of dissatisfaction in the workplace. Knowing the answer to this question can prevent other employees from leaving.
This exit interview question also gives you insight into how to improve the employee onboarding and hiring processes. Based on this, you can update your new hire checklist accordingly.
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What To Say In The Exit Interview So You Leave On A Good Note
Not every organization conducts exit interviews, but for many, they are standard procedure when an employee leaves. Employers hold exit interviews either in person, over the phone, or sometimes even by an online survey in order to get valuable feedback about an employees experience with their company and to gain deeper insights into things like company culture, work environment, morale, management performance or any other work-related issues the employee had.
If youre asked to participate in an exit interview, youll likely be asked some version of the following questions:
- Why are you leaving?
- What were the best and worst parts of your job?
- How happy were you with things like salary, benefits, perks, time off, the office environment, etc?
- How do you feel about your managers or supervisors?
- How do you feel about the support/training/feedback you received?
- How do you feel about your relationship with your coworkers?
- What recommendations do you have for the company on how to improve?
- Would you recommend this company to others? Why or why not?
Since youre already on your way out , it can be tempting to just breeze through the exit interview without giving the process or your answers much thought. And you could be wondering: whats in it for you to put additional thought, time and care into this exercise?
Be Honest, But Not Bitter
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Exit Interview Dos And Donts
Think of exit interviews as a way to help your organization. This survey can help your company improve in certain areas that you think they lack. However, its not an avenue for you to rant and air out negative comments about your coworkers.
This is still a professional interview, and you should try to keep it as one. With this in mind, here are some things that you should keep in mind during your exit interview:
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How Was Your Relationship With Your Manager
It goes without saying that an employees relationship with his or her manager was probably the most influential in the daily work life, so employers want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. How did you feel about your supervisors management style overall? What did he or she do well? Also be prepared to provide suggestions for ways that your manager could improve. Although youve probably had the dont say anything bad about your boss rule ingrained in your brain, its necessary feedback that your employer needs to know. Keep in mind that its not necessary to go crazy and start rattling off every little thing he or she did that irked you, especially since your information may be relayed back to him or her. When in doubt, keep it cordial and constructive.
What Did You Like And Dislike About The Job
Why they ask it: Theyre asking you this because theres a chance that they want to compare your notes to previous employees who had your role, or they may rethink the position.
How to answer it: Talk honestly about what you liked and about what you disliked, but keep things professional. Or, feel free to make a small joke about your dislike. I really like the amount of training I received over the years. I learned a lot about the strategic aspects of marketing and will be able to use those skills wherever I go. I disliked the coffee! But, seriously, there wasnt anything I disliked, but I do wish the company offered more flexible work options.
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Why Should An Organization Use Exit Interview Questions
1. The first and foremost reason for conducting such an interview is to understand why an employee is leaving their position in a certain organization.
Some may feel they are not given enough responsibilities at work. For some, they might feel their work isnt recognized or rewarded, or there may be some external issues that the organization may not be aware of.
2. Secondly, most of the employees usually are afraid of honest feedback to the management. Employees who have decided to quit the organization have nothing to lose or fear. These are the employees who will give honest feedback once they are ready to walk out of the organization.
Conducting an exit interview will help management to collect the right information of any dysfunctionality within the organization that they would usually not come to know through an existing employee.
3. Another very important reason why an organization needs to consider such interviews with sincerity is it helps to retain employees.
Employee retention is a plight! If organizations act promptly on the data gathered while conducting the exit interview, then they would know what not to do at the workplace to make sure the attrition rate drops down and the employees are happy working for the organization.
As mentioned earlier, exit interviews should be a communicative process. Therefore while planning these interviews, right exit interview questions are the key to obtaining the right feedback or data.