It’s always hard to say goodbye to a great employee! But remember, as one door closes, another opens. You’ll be hiring again soon and it’s important to understand what you can do better the next time around. Make the most of the exit interview to gain insight into the best and worst parts of the employee’s role and the areas where improvement is most necessary.
In this post, we’ll give you our best tips for the exit interview and show you how to use exit interview questions and answers to streamline your business and boost employee satisfaction.
- Formatting the Interview
- Create a Template
- 7 Important Questions to Ask
- How to Conduct the Interview
The information gained from exit interviews can provide an organization with a unique perspective on its performance and employee engagement. That’s because employees are more likely to tell the truth about their experience when they’re on the way out. Get the exit interview format right in order to capitalize on this unique moment.
Voluntary or Mandatory?
Depending on your company culture, parting interviews may be standard for your company, or an optional stop along the way. Some employees may enjoy the interview as a chance to process their experience at the company. But if a soon-to-be ex-employee wants to decline the opportunity, don’t press them! You won’t get good data from an unwilling participant.
Written or In-Person?
Offer the employee options, like an exit interview questionnaire, a phone interview, or an in-person interview. In-person is probably best so that the interviewer can make the employee more comfortable. Interviewers will still use an exit interview template to guide their questions, listen closely to employee feedback, and offer follow-up questions as needed.
Who Conducts the Survey?
It’s important to find the right person to deliver the exit interview questionnaire. Employees shouldn’t be interviewed by their direct supervisors in case they have complaints about how they were managed. It might be useful to bring in an impartial consultant to conduct interviews, but this could be impersonal. The best option is to have HR staff to conduct the interviews— someone who is familiar with the employee’s role but is not held responsible for their performance.
Once you have an idea of how you want the interview to look, think about creating a template for an exit interview. Think of it like this: you are making the entire exit interview process into a checklist to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck. Think of the most important questions you plan to ask interviewees.
Using data from the interview, HR can design better job descriptions, offer more training and support where necessary, and address any other problems that are affecting employee morale… from bad lighting to bad management. Obviously, the exit interview with an employee of 10 years will look different than that for interns, but having a general idea of how an exit interview should go helps in tailoring it for each employee.
Good answers come from good questions. Here are our best exit interview questions to help you make the most of the conversation.
What made you start looking for another opportunity?
Get straight down to business: why is the employee leaving? Once you know the answer, you’ll be able to better guide the conversation. This is a great place to start thinking about how your business is stacking up against competitors. Is it time to beef up the benefits package? Offer more opportunities for growth?
Were you provided with what you needed to succeed?
Was the employee given regular feedback, performance reviews, and support? It’s the manager’s job to make sure team members succeed. If a manager is failing one employee, chances are they may be failing others. This exit interview answer may also show you where you need to improve training programs and resources.
What did you like best and least about your job?
Maybe it seems broad, but this question will help you see what might get future candidates excited about the job. It will also show you what characteristics are important for future hires. For example, if the employee is leaving because they don’t enjoy coordinating with many different people, in the future you will know to select candidates who are strong team players.
Do you think your job has changed since you were hired?
Has the role changed a lot in the past months or years? It may now require a different set of skills than the employee was hired for. This information will help you update your job description and find candidates who will be excited to take on the work.
How well do you believe your work was recognized and appreciated?
Employees want to feel like their work is making a difference. If they aren’t receiving enough positive feedback, that’s something you might want to address in your workplace culture. Regular performance reviews are vital to keeping employees on track, and without them, it’s easy to feel lost.
What suggestions do you have for the company? How could we improve?
All criticisms are valid: from compensation to benefits, to workload, to fluorescent lights, to low coffee quality, you want to know it all. It’s important to get to know how employees are thinking about the company and find ways to make their experience more enjoyable.
Did you share your concerns with anyone at the company prior to leaving?
This is a big one! Make sure that employees have an avenue to file criticisms, thoughts, and complaints before it’s too late. If employees have been shouting their dissatisfaction and getting no response, it’s no wonder that they’re leaving.
You may still be wondering how to do an exit interview. Here are our best exit interview tips to get the most out of your interviews.
Create a system.
The interview should be streamlined like any other part of your workflow. Create a template for the exit interview that can be easily adjusted to each employee’s needs and contributions.
Give employees plenty of time to prepare.
When facing an exit interview, employee morale may be low. Make sure to give employees sufficient time to think through their answers so they can give thoughtful replies. Consider providing them with the questions in advance. Some employees may write an exit interview letter airing their grievances. This letter never makes it into the hands of the interviewer, but can help employees to get their ideas in order.
Keep it simple.
Don’t overcomplicate your exit interview questions! Keep it simple and to the point so that you can get the information you need.
Process the data.
If you are looking for exit interview software, consider using an all-in-one HR software. You can track performance throughout an employee’s career, create a workflow for the interview, and input your findings into a data analysis template. If you want to make the most of your exit interview, you need the right attitude, the right questions, and the right tools.