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What To Do In An Exit Interview

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How to Handle the Exit Interview

Companies that conduct exit interviews almost always pursue this goal but often focus too narrowly on salary and benefits. To be sure, people need a certain level of financial compensation to remain with an organization, but unless their salary is out of alignment with their peers, money doesnt usually drive them out the door. Plenty of other HR practices can play into an employees decision to leave. One leader from a food and beverage company told us that exit interviews inform his companys succession planning and talent management process.

What Are Your Recommendations

Why they ask it: This is an open-ended question that usually comes near the end of your exit interview. HR is trying to see if theres anything you want to add that maybe they didnt ask about.

How to answer it: Sometimes, youll have specific ideas that are perfectly safe answers. For example, if the health insurance is lacking, remote work options are too restrictive, or the time-off policy isnt great, you might suggest improving these. Two weeks off a year just wasnt enough for me. You may want to consider adding more PTO to the benefits package or allow work-from-home days to attract more candidates and reduce burnout.

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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How To Conduct An Exit Interview That Benefits Your Company

  • How to Conduct an Exit Interview that Benefits Your Company

Why do good employees leave your organization? Knowing the answer to this question will help you with a myriad of your responsibilities as an HR professional, from retaining valuable talent to pinpointing managerial problems to fostering a positive company culture. This is why conducting interviews with departing employees as a part of your offboarding process can be so valuable. If youre unsure of how to conduct an exit interview, keep reading.

Conducting exit interviews with employees leaving your company can help you figure out what your organization is already doing well, and what areas need adjustment. Well-conducted interviews can also give you insights on your industry based on the employees expectations of your company, in terms of compensation, benefits, and other key criteria. Lastly, an exit interview can provide an opportunity to ensure the employee leaves on a high note, feeling appreciated for their contributions and respected for their feedback.

Share The Feedback With All Stakeholders

40 Best Exit Interview Templates &  Forms á? TemplateLab

Keep all exit interviews in one place and put together a process for sharing feedback. A leadership team might want access to where the exit interviews live, or maybe they just want you to work out any suggestions for change with the appropriate stakeholder. Sometimes it depends on timing because exits come in waves and one-offs and it might be best to present all the feedback at the end of the month or at the end of the quarter. In any situation, make sure time is scheduled with appropriate stakeholders and there are recommendations for change if needed to avoid a black hole of feedback.

There might be a month where one person exits and the feedback can directly go to a team manager to work out any recommendations. Its a great idea to try to get to the root of the problem and update the leadership team with the actions youve taken. In the case where you get one-off exit interview feedback, you can work directly with management to reach a solution. For example, if several employees mention issues with team meetings, you can work with the manager directly to explore different ways to achieve the goal of the meetings or potentially change the meeting structure. This type of feedback and the actions taken to make changes can be brought up as an update during a leadership meeting at the end of the quarter.

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What Questions Will I Be Asked In An Exit Interview

Your exit interview might include questions like:

  • What is your principal reason for leaving and why?
  • What do you think we do well as an employer?
  • What could be done differently?
  • How would you describe to other people what its like to work here?
  • What triggered your decision to leave?
  • What advice could you give us in recruiting someone to fill your position?
  • Is there anything we could have done to retain your services?
  • Do you think this organisation provides a working environment free from sexual harassment and discrimination?
  • What will your new position be?
  • How do the salary and benefits compare to your current salary and benefits?

What Are Some Ways You Feel The Company Can Improve

When an employer asks this question, they want your honest opinion and are looking for suggestions. Stay positive, but share your ideas about how they can improve productivity, job satisfaction, and other key elements of their operations or your role. Your suggestions may range from compensation and worker benefits, a leader’s management style, or the resources you had access to.

Providing constructive criticism helps your former employer understand what’s important to their employees and develop ways to improve workplace morale. Your answer to this question can benefit your former colleagues and the person replacing you in your role.

Example: In my eight years working here, I can honestly say I’ve had a pleasant experience. However, I think the company should consider extending parental leave to allow new parents more time to be with their children. I also think the company culture could benefit from hosting more team-building activities. Diversity and inclusion initiatives would go a long way to making everyone feel welcome and valued.

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

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.

Create Lifelong Advocates For The Organization

How To Conduct An Exit Interview

Treat departing employees with respect and gratitude. That may encourage them to recommend their former companies to potential employees, to use and recommend the companies products and services, and to create business alliances between their former and new employers. You want to leave as an ambassador and customer, said one North American financial services executive.

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The Benefits Of Conducting Exit Interviews

Its worth putting the effort in to develop your processthere are some impressive rewards that come from asking the right questions. Such as:

  • Cost effectiveness: You can receive direct feedback from staff about issues in your business. Normally youd have to hold assessments or perform a business audit, which can cost a lot of time and money. Exit interviews are a quick and easy way to find issues in your infrastructure.
  • Understanding employee turnover: Gain insights into the mood of your workforce, which can ultimately affect your business staff retention rates. In time, that can ensure you save on having to recruit more employees.
  • Increase retention rates: Again, your leaving interview will help to identify ways in which your business can improve working life for staff. For example, making improvements to your work-life balance. Every improvement you make can increase staff happiness and encourage them to stay with you.
  • Idea resource: From the information you gain from departing employees, you can get an understanding into initiatives and opportunities to provide across your business.

How To Handle The Exit Interview From A Toxic Workplace Or Horrible Boss

Dont bad-mouth your company during the exit interview. They may have terrible rules & policies and ineffective managers that lead through fear. These issues are not your problem or concern any longer. Each boss you have will teach you something some are constructive lessons and some are negative lessons that help you recognize situations to avoid in the future.

Exit interviews led by HR are assembled together to look for overall trends and delivered to company executives to digest and possibly take action on. In reality, when leaders are so disconnected from widespread problems they are unlikely to respond effectively. The only way a company culture makes meaningful change is when leaders are engaged with their employees, which makes exit interviews unnecessary.

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What Not To Ask

While its important to be on alert for harassment or discrimination complaints or just bad management that your exiting employee may point out, you dont want to fuel the fire.

Exit Interviews should focus on the company, and the information you gather should be helpful, constructive feedback that you can use to move the company, employees and processes forward.

These conversations also give employees an opportunity to provide their opinions and share what led to their decision to leave. However, you need to be careful not to encourage negativity in any of the following ways:

1. Dont ask targeted questions about specific people or issues. While its OK to ask for general feedback about a supervisor, you should not insert your opinions into the conversation.

2. Dont feed office gossip. Its never constructive and wont be reliable information.

3. Dont say anything that could be construed as slander. The conversation should focus on the employees experience. Although he or she may have negative things to say about certain people, you should listen without agreeing or disagreeing with his or her point.

4. Dont lay the groundwork that could look like you are setting someone up for termination. Any employees performance and status within the company should not be shared especially with a departing employee.

5. Dont get into personal issues. Keep the conversation professional and work-related.

6. Dont try to convince the employee to change stay with your company.

Can I Ask For An Exit Interview

Exit Interview form Pdf Unique 24 Best Exit Interview ...

If nobody schedules an exit interview, you can request a meeting with someone in your leadership structure or with an HR representative. Before you do, consider what you hope to accomplish.

You may have the best of intentions to pull back the curtain on uncomfortable truths within the company. It is commendable that you really want to make a difference for the coworkers you are leaving behind. Remember that exit interviews are the norm, any company that doesnt use them or forgets to schedule yours is highly unlikely to do anything with your feedback. You can be right in principle but lose in politics.

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Understanding The Positive Aspects Of Employment

By understanding the positive aspects of employment with your organization, it will also make it easier for you to retain critical employees and improve your workplace productivity. You will have the information you need to make the changes necessary to provide a desirable workplace.

Because you are allowed to ask almost any question in an exit interview, it’s a good time to inquire about compensation and benefits at competing companies. You may discover you top the list. You could also ask the person that is leaving for any positive information they want to share about managers, the organizational mission, the vision of the company, and if your organization excels at communication.

Reflect On Your Experience In Writing

Itâs not always easy to wing a conversation, especially when you need to talk about something as difficult as why you chose to leave your company. Without proper structure, excessively harsh or critical statements might slip out, or you could forget something important you really wanted to bring up. To avoid something like this, itâs best to plan out in advance which items you want to cover.

âI highly recommend writing down notes to plan what you want to say,â advises Jude Miller-Burke, Ph.D., business psychologist and author. âIf you expect it to be highly charged, practice out loud. Reinforce to yourself that you will maintain boundaries and not succumb to your strong emotions

Write a list of all the items you want to cover, including positive feedback, critical feedback and what you think the company can do to improve overall. You probably wonât want to read off of this list verbatim in the meeting â that could come off as a little stiff and impersonal â just use it to help jog your memory around which topics to bring up and how to answer certain questions.

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Exit Interview Questions Examples

Here is my selection of the best and most commonly used exit interview question examples:

  • What did you like most about your job?

  • What did you dislike the most about your job?

  • How would you describe your relationship with your supervisor?

  • How enjoyable was to work with your colleagues?

  • Were you happy with your pay, benefits and other incentives?

  • What prompted you to start looking for another job?

  • What made you accept another job offer?

  • Would you recommend our company to your friend as a great place to work?

  • What could be done to make this company a better place to work?

  • What skills and qualifications do you think we should look for in your replacement?

  • If youre looking for more great exit interview question examples, check out our Complete list of the best exit interview questions.

    What Motivated You To Search For Another Job Opportunity

    Exit Interview Tips (DO NOT Do This)

    This is typically the first question in an exit interview. Your response provides the employer with a broad understanding of what made you choose to resign. This interview question differs from other conventional job interviews because the employer is ready to receive potentially negative feedback. In asking this question, your employer wants to uncover your motivations for leaving and whether they could have done something differently.

    There are several reasons you might choose to part ways with your present employer. You could be moving away, or wanting to pursue further education full-time. You could simply feel that your current employer isn’t right for you and your long-term career goals. This question gives your employer an idea of what they can change to keep their top talent. Your answer to this question should articulate your reason for leaving your current role.

    Example: I’ve enjoyed working here over the past three years. I learned plenty of valuable skills since starting with this company, but, I feel that it’s time for me to pursue a new role. This position has been instrumental in helping me hone my scheduling and computer skills, but I don’t see any more room for career growth here. I want to continue strengthening my abilities and expanding my experience by going in a new direction.

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    How Could Management Improve

    There were a number of things that management did really well. Expectations and roles were clearly defined. I always knew that I had the support of my team and really valued the comradeship that was fostered at Company X. If I had to give one area for improvement I would say that I sometimes felt that I didnt have the creative freedom to explore new and better ways of doing things.

    How You Feel About Your Manager And Other Leaders

    This is an opportunity to recognize good managers and leaders, highlighting what made them so good, as well as identify toxic ones. If your manager empowered you to make decisions and has shown good emotional intelligence, thats helpful information for the organization. Just as helpful, is knowing about those who may be detracting from a positive working environment or are even a contributing factor to your decision to leave. This may be a boss who demonstrates bullying behavior or manages by instilling fear. In particular, when multiple exit interviews echo the same negative feedback, the organization has even more incentive to act on it. They might provide coaching to the leader in question to help increase their awareness and mitigate unproductive behaviors, or in more extreme cases, launch an investigation that may lead to further action. Rather than thinking of this as telling on anyone, consider it as shining a light on a problem to be solved in order to make things better for your soon-to-be former colleagues and the organizations future employees.

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