An exit interview is an interview conducted in the presence of someone who is leaving an organization. Most commonly, this occurs between an employee and an organization, a student, and an educational institution, or a member and an association.
The exit interview is an invaluable source of information to assess the overall quality of work life within your organization and identify opportunities to improve retention and employee engagement.
Do you need more reasons why you should be implementing a structured exit interview process in your organization?
- You will get a candid assessment of your organization’s environment and culture as departing employees are generally more forthcoming.
- You will learn the reason for an employee’s departure – it may be different than you think!
- That last touch point provides you with an opportunity to review continuing obligations with the employee. For example non-competes, NDA’s, etc.)
- It provides the opportunity to ask if there are any open issues of which you need to be aware. This can help reduce risk and idenitfy matters that may require immediate attention.
- The feedback will help you to identify areas that can help improve staff retention and give insight into recruiting, onboarding and training
- Improvement opportunities in management development and succession planning can be detected.
- It’s cost-effective and easy to facilitate with Survey Anyplace Exit Interviews! (Just a little shameless plug! ;-))
It is important for each organization to customize its own exit interview in order to maintain the highest levels of survey validity and reliability. Research shows that the average response rate for exit interviews is approximately 30%. With just a little extra effort, you should be able to double that response rate.
- The easiest way is to cheat the system. Simply make the exit interview obligatory.
- Start by analyzing your current exit interview process. Chances are the current process is experienced difficult or uncomfortable by the interviewee.
- Reduce the length of the exit interview. One of the most heard reasons why employees choose not to complete the exit interview is because it is too long and time-consuming. Some exit interviews have over 70 questions! Why would someone, who’s leaving the company, go through that kind of torment? Reducing this number by grouping them in different topics will allow you to shorten the exit interview drastically. By applying skip logic you can automatically skip all irrelevant questions in each interview, reducing the interview length up to 35%.
- Review your questions for simplicity. Avoid confusing or personally invasive questions. Put yourself in the employee’s shoes and ask yourself how you would feel answering the questions. Avoid questions that ask for feelings and emotions.
- A clean and simplified process is also important. The form should be laid out nicely with an intuitive and easy to understand design.
- Let employees know that you value their input and inform them that the honest feedback will not result in repercussions. Often the employee doesn’t believe that the interview will make a difference or he is afraid of losing his chances for a reference, which could influence the respondent’s answers and result in biased answers or reduced participation. Make sure the respondent knows that statements made on an exit interview should never be used to prevent future eligibility for rehire.
- The employee is angry at the company. Anger is a bad adviser. It may lead employees to feel they don’t want to help by participating in the exit interview. These employees can be encouraged to vent their anger in the exit interview. Many of these angry employees are thrilled with the chance to have their voice heard.