Exit Interviews

Getting Feedback From Departing Staff

Why is she leaving?

© iStockphoto/mihaicalin

Do you want to know what is really going on in your organization?

Then talk to people who are leaving.

Departing employees may leave for very good reasons, and learning what these are can help you improve your company's performance.

All you need to do is find out what these reasons are!

The information collected in an exit interview can give you a unique perspective on how satisfied your people are, as well as on the performance of your organization. People tend to be brutally honest about their experiences in an exit interview – they no longer have to please their bosses, and they have little to fear by being honest. Because of this, the feedback you get from exit interviews can be very useful for identifying problems with operations, performance and staff retention.

Your exit interviews may reveal a common theme. You can then focus on this and turn it into a catalyst for change. Perhaps your salary and benefits package is not generous enough? Maybe your promotional opportunities are too limited? Or perhaps you might hear consistent complaints about a certain manager, and decide to investigate the issue yourself. If you aren't conducting exit interviews you're missing out on some really great information!

Essentially, exit interviews do two things. Firstly, they reveal opportunities for improvement. Secondly, they encourage people to leave on a positive note. An exit interview is your last chance to say "We value you and your opinion." This may be enough to leave a positive impression, no matter what the real reason for leaving.

Conducting the Interview

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding how to conduct exit interviews in your organization. These include:

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