Wednesday, February 21, 2024

What To Discuss In An Exit Interview

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Would You Recommend This Company To Your Friend

How an Exit Interview Will Help You Go To The Next Level

This is assuming that the role and company are in line with your friends career objectives. Could you in good faith recommend this company to them?

Again, its not helpful to just say Absolutely not! This statement lets your employer know you arent satisfied, but they already knew that this job no longer fully supported your needs in one way or another. Be specific, and objective!

If you answer no, tell your employer what would make you change your mind. Would you reconsider your answer if there was better work-life balance? Better communication from management? A change in the company culture?

If you could sense from these questions and their potential answers, there is a right way to go about this and a less-than-great way to go about this. It isnt easy! Next we will go over some tips you can use to help you navigate your exit interview to help make the process more manageable.

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.

How Can We Improve Our Training And Development

Employees leave for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common is that they didnt feel they were growing, developing, and improving as much as they would like. If that is the case with your outgoing employees, theyll let you know how you can improve in that regard when you ask them this question.

Remember, training and development are less about learning new skills or advancing up the ranks and more about keeping employees engaged in the work they have. If you can identify better ways to do that, you can reduce attrition and increase employee retention.

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Best Approach By The Leaver

So, you are moving on to your next role. One final task you may be asked to complete is an exit interview as part of the departure experience. There are some important points to keep in mind though.

Know What You Want to Share

Plan what you would like to share during your exit interview. Remember to be ready to share the positive as well as the constructive. Think about what you have enjoyed. Also, consider what could be improved moving forward within the company. This might be in terms of processes or policies. Also, it might be in terms of resources or tools and equipment to do the job. Additionally, share about learning and development opportunities and growth within the company.

Offer Constructive Feedback

While it might be tempting to vent away, criticising everything, thats not actually the best approach. Instead, have some useful constructive feedback to share during the interview. This way the feedback is both helpful and yet highlights areas of improvement.

Criticism alone doesnt do anyone any good and offers no way of moving forward. It simply gives off negativity. Offer actual constructive feedback, in a helpful way. Then you can help your former employer become better even after you go.

Dont Make it too Personal

Dont Make it too General

Exit Interview Meaning And Purpose

Your Guide to Planning and Conducting Exit Interviews

So, what do we mean by exit interviews? This is a formal activity an employer conducts with leavers before they officially depart. What else does that mean for companies? Manage it as part of the departure process. Utilise the time with the leaver to learn about their overall experience. And, utilise the information shared.

The main purpose of the exit interview is to discuss reasons why the employee is leaving. It is also an opportunity to find out from the employee what they enjoyed about working for the company. Another purpose of the interview is to get suggestions from leavers about areas of improvement.

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What Are Good Questions For An Exit Interview

  • They encourage honest and detailed answers rather than a simple Yes or No. You can ask employees to elaborate their answers instead of accepting generic responses such as It wasnt a good fit.
  • They offer insights into the companys positive aspects so you can strengthen them and the negative aspects so you can fix them.
  • They encourage sharing rather than making employees feel like theyre being interrogated.

Tip: Approach exit interviews with an open-minded, non-judgmental, and professional attitude. A hostile, defensive, and take-it-personally attitude may deepen the negative experience of the employee , or discourage them from sharing honest and valuable thoughts about the position and the company.

Exit Interview Do’s And Don’ts

With a robust job market percolating along, you may be thinking about changing jobs.

If youll be quitting, youll likely be told to go to an exit interview before hightailing it out. I cant emphasize enough how important it is to do this right. Say the wrong things and you could harm your career if you either want to get a reference from your nearly-ex employer or one day decide you want to come back.

Ill give you a few pointers in a moment, based on my own experience and my interviews with eight career consultants and HR pros who spoke on and off the record.

Ive resigned from five jobs during my career, and each time I dreaded the exit interview. In many ways, it was more nerve-wracking than the interview I had before being offered the job. In three exit interviews, my gut urged me to shout, Im outta here! and bare my soul about why I was jumping ship. I fancied that I wanted to help my soon-to-be former colleagues by letting the powers that be know what theyd better fix if they didnt want to lose more employees like me.

But my head, thankfully, told me to zip my lip. And, boy, am I glad I did. Im still regularly hired to work as an expert columnist and writer for former employers and bosses from my previous staff positions.

What HR Wants From an Exit Interview

My advice: Proceed with caution, or your words can haunt you down the road.

Closing the Door on a Future Relationship

5 Tips for Exit Interviews

For your next exit interview, follow these five tips:

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What Did You Like Most About Your Job

While the main goal of exit interviews is to get constructive feedback, that doesnt mean you wont have the opportunity to highlight any positives.

In a typical exit interview, youll be asked what aspects of your position you liked the most. Whether it was a particular job duty, your team members, or the weekly happy hours, your company wants to know what made you look forward to coming in each day. This knowledge helps your manager not only continue to expand on these positive attributes, but also play up the appealing traits when listing your position!

What Did You Like About Your Time With Us

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You might be asked this explicitly, but even if you arent its always a good idea to pepper in some positivity in your answers. Just keep it genuine!

Think about what stands out as unique to your workplace, especially aspects of your job that your boss or management directly contributed to. Your employers dont want you to dread coming in to work – if there was something that made the company worth working for, they want to know!

At the end of the day, employers want a mutually beneficial relationship with their staff where the job gets done well and the employees leave feeling satisfied. When you tell them what theyre doing well, theyre able to not only maintain that habit or policy, but enhance it!

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Exit Interview Tips: How To Leave A Job On Good Terms

Whether you quit your job or were fired, youll probably be asked to partake in an exit interview before you walk out the door. While some organisations simply ask you to fill out a questionnaire, many conduct a face-to-face interview to discuss your reasons for leaving the company. By doing so, it helps the organisation identify any areas of concern, gather feedback and improve their company culture for future employees.

For the person on the receiving end, however, it can often be more nerve-racking than the interview they had to secure the job. With heightened or mixed emotions, it can be extremely difficult to hold back your true feelings.

That said, there are ways to express them constructively, so continue reading to find out how to tackle an exit interview with dignity and poise.

Barriers To Effective Exit Interviews

There are several barriers we need to be aware of for the exit interview process to be effective. These barriers can include the below-mentioned warnings.

The Feedback isnt Helpful

Many leaving employees fear speaking up at exit interviews because they worry their reference could be affected. Also, they dont feel their comments will hold any weight or make any difference. Fear and indifference are 2 of the main barriers to getting anything useful from the process. Often the feedback is vague and simply unactionable. Try to get more accurate details where possible.

The Feedback isnt Truthful

Linking back to the first point, a lot of feedback given in exit interviews is less than truthful. Very often, leavers simply answer how they think we want them to. They give high or average scores where lower scores are more reflective of their real feelings. The most common reason I have personally seen on exit interview forms for leaving is personal reasons. Not very informative and very often not true.

But easier to answer than management or salary and benefits. Ask the question and try to find the root cause. Delve deeper into hints about possible other reasons. Make every effort to get the real reason. Otherwise, lingering problems for people leaving may never be addressed.

The Person Interviewing isnt Right for the Role

Lack of Confidentiality

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What To Say During Your Exit Interview

As in any interview setting, do not lie during your exit interview. However, you may want to carefully word your responses so you do not burn any bridges.

The world of work can be small, and you never know when youll encounter a former colleague in a new job. Also, it is difficult to request a reference once youve burned a bridge.

Share Relevant Information With The Appropriate People

The importance of exit interviews

Whether the exiting employee has shared positive or negative feedback, it’s important to share appropriate details with the right people at the organization, as long as you have approval from the employee. With positive feedback, it’s a chance to let others know what they are doing right so they can continue doing so for all the employees who remain and possibly increase loyalty to the company. You’ll want to share negative feedback with the manager or higher level up if needed so that leadership or the organization can work on improving and therefore preventing a high employee turnover rate.

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What Does Your New Position Offer That Influenced Your Decision To Leave

The answer to this question will indicate the specifics of where your company is lacking. It could be company culture. It could be pay or benefits. It could be lack of flexibility. It could be any number of things.

The important thing to remember is that the information the outgoing employee provides can be used to pick up the slack where your company has fallen short.

Make A List Of Questions To Discuss

We think its a good idea to prepare a list of questions in advance for face-to-face exit interviews. Instead of closed discussions with yes or no responses, ask open-ended questions that begin with “what,” “how,” or “why.” To establish consistency, ask the same questions at each exit interview.

Establish a standard written questionnaire that will be utilized for all departing staff. Questions that require a rating or score are useful for aggregating data and making assessments from one year to the next. Be sure to balance rating questions with open-ended ones.

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Types Of Exit Interviews

There are several types of exit interviews, but most organizations use a minimalistic approach. It might be a meeting, phone call or an email to discuss the reasons youre leaving an organization.

Exit interviews arent used to evaluate individual employees. Its purpose is to learn about your experience at the organization, not to delve into personal details or criticism about management. The exit interview gathers information for the organizations benefit. Its an opportunity for the manager to clear up any lingering questions and understand if there was anything else they could have done to keep the employee.

Sometimes, however, its also a way to check in on if there are any internal issues. If youve had a rocky time in the organization, you should be prepared for a few more detailed questions on your experience.

Is There Anything We Can Do To Change Your Mind

Exit Interviews and Attrition Surveys

The exit interview isnât the place to ask employees to reconsider their decisionâif youâre willing to change conditions or compensation to keep an employee, you should discuss terms soon after the employee submits their notice. Instead of preventing this particular employee from leaving, an exit interview should help you learn how to improve conditions and keep other employees from leaving.

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Is There Anything We Could Have Done To Keep You Here

An employee who enters an exit interview has already made their decision. Theres very little chance to turn their decision around. But still, this can be the last chance to offer solutions that keep them on staff. You can offer better pay, more resources, more flexibility in working time, more opportunities for work-life balance, or a chance to move to another team/role.

Even if the employee doesnt agree with any offers or you cant afford their requests, this question may help spark some insights into what you can offer the next employee.

What Are The Benefits Of Exit Interviews

When done correctly, exit interviews can offer an organization many benefits. Some of these are:

  • Gives everyone involved an opportunity to have an open and honest conversation about the organization and what is working and what isnt.
  • Provides a better look at retention issues the company may be facing.
  • Learn about any gaps within a specific role and if there are areas for improvement.
  • Allows the company to find how they can keep their best employees and attract more.
  • Using the data collected can help measure the mood, impression, and sentiment the company has on its employees.
  • Gaining an inside look into team dynamics, both with coworkers and with the manager.
  • Leading the way into amicable parting between the employee and the organization.
  • Providing the answers to the tough questions about the company that current employees may be hesitant to answer.

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Was The Position What You Thought It Would Be

Many employees quit because they think, This is not what I signed up for. The job duty may be too different from what they expected. They may apply for a barista position and end up working as a server, dishwasher, and cashier. They may opt for a full-time schedule and find out the assigned shifts arent enough to make ends meet.

If You Have A Grenade To Throw It’s Important Do It In The Right Way Jill Cotton

Exit Interview

But what if workers do want to leave in that dramatic way, pulling the pin from the proverbial grenade? Its not necessarily a universally bad idea if they consider some specific elements.

I think if you have a grenade to throw, it’s important do it in the right way, says Cotton. I would really recommend to any employee whos going to do that to actually prepare in advance because emotions can just really overtake you in these sorts of situations. And if you have had a negative experience within the workplace, it’s important that the company youre leaving is aware of that.

Whether throwing the grenade or having a quick, polite chat, Cotton stresses how important it is to prepare for an exit interview to have a sense of the script beforehand. Be clear about what it is that you want to say make sure your bases are covered so you know exactly what it is that you do and dont want to say to an employer.

If you have nothing nice to say

There is another option, too: declining an exit interview entirely. That old adage if you have nothing nice to say, dont say anything at all may never be more applicable. Perhaps its more comfortable to strategically omit information perhaps HRs questions may stir up some unwelcome reactions and emotions.

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Exit Interviews: 7 Best Practices And Precautions For Leaders

  • 11/19/2021
  • 7 minute read

Youll never know for sure why an employee has chosen a role elsewhere unless you find out. Here are 7 best practices to follow during an exit interview.

Theres always a reason for an employee leaving their job.

Maybe it was due to an abrasive or under-trained manager. Or perhaps it was because they were looking for a role that offered more work-from-home opportunities. And of course, it could have been simply for a higher paying salary.

Whatever the case may be, youll never know for sure why an employee has chosen a role elsewhere unless you find out. And the best way to find out is in an exit interview.

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