Blog: Making exit interviews a hands-free process

Life @ Work

Making exit interviews a hands-free process

Identifying the right kind of technology to facilitate the process is usually a good start to improving exit interviews.
Making exit interviews a hands-free process

When an organization has a high employee turnover, you know something is wrong there. Companies that take their work and employee management seriously will take measures to figure out the reasons for the churn.

Conducting exit interviews with departing employees is one of the best ways to get to the bottom of the problem and find a way to solve it. Employee exit interviews can help reduce the attrition rate.

A research data from the Harvard Business Review suggests that many companies don’t even engage in exit interviews. Many others that do merely collect information but don’t actually analyze it or fail to act on the data collected through exit interviews.

However, exit interviews are not something people are very fond of. In plain terms, the process sucks - just like separating couples who take out their bitterness on each other during divorce settlements.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are many things you can do to make your exit interviews smooth-sailing and less awkward. Identifying the right kind of technology to facilitate the process is usually a good start.

What exactly is an employee exit interview?

An employee exit interview is a final chance for employers to understand why people quit their jobs. An exit interview is face-to-face and upfront, which makes it a good source for gathering objective information. The responses to employee satisfaction surveys are cautious and sugar-coated because respondents are influenced by either confirmation bias or the fear of consequences.

Exit interviews, on the other hand, tend to be honest. Since the departing employees are free from consequences, their responses tend to be candid and blunt. Although the exit interview process shouldn’t be the first attempt to figure out problems related to a company’s attrition, it is a handy process that identifies the pattern in employee churn.

Exit Interview for employees: frequently asked questions

The common employee exit interview questionnaire contains a wide array of questions, and a few of them are very specific to organizations. The answers to these interviews reveal a lot about the people’s attitudes and their motive to move on to greener pastures.

If you, as an HR person, are wondering about what to focus on your exit interview process, consider the following questions as pointers:

  1. Why are you leaving the organization?

  2. How did you get along with the manager and your team?

  3. Were there any problem areas you saw in your team’s dynamics?

  4. What made you look for a new job and accept an offer?

  5. What was the best part of your job?

  6. Did you communicate about your problems with your team members/manager during your time of employment? If not, why?

  7. Were you informed about new company policies?

  8. What are a few things that could have been done better by your managers?

  9. What did you like the least?

These questions might look like a no-brainer, and yet, it is absolutely imperative to cover them. It’s better to keep these questions as specific as possible to get clear, specific feedback that will help your company improve your future hiring strategy.

The Challenges

While exit interviews are great, the HR department often comes across certain scenarios that create roadblocks from making the most of this opportunity. Some of them include:

  1. If problems in your corporate culture run deep, exit interviews aren’t going to be particularly beneficial.

  2. Asking generic, shallow questions will not yield meaningful feedback.

  3. As much as they are valuable, exit interviews take time. The HR team needs to parse data, analyze it, and implement the suggestions that are viable.

  4. There’s no strategic approach when it comes to collecting data for making organizational changes.

  5. Not all employees are comfortable being open during exit interviews. The HR should create a conducive environment to address this concern.

How to conduct exit interviews?

With a little bit of intelligence, you can design a neat, hands-free exit interview for employees that improves your existing employee engagement efforts. Here are a few tips on how to equip your HR to create a great exit interview:

  1. Remove human participation

    If you think deserting employees are uncomfortable with sharing frank opinions in person, try to make it impersonal. Document your interview questions on a digital platform and encourage employees to submit their responses electronically. Eliminating paper-based exit interview templates and automating them through a digital platform is the first step. If the exit interviews are happening en masse, you can give them the freedom to be anonymous and maintain confidentiality.

  2. Experiment with questions

    If you are not getting quality data with the current format, you may want to test out a new set of questions. You can map the questions back to other feedback approaches in your company like internal surveys, engagement polls, etc. The idea is to be true to your mission of finding out the key reasons why people leave and what should be done to improve employee retention.

  3. Automate the process

    This can be the best and biggest step for your company to take the exit interviews to the next level. Like many other artillery processes that are barely sustaining, exit interviews can function efficiently if you can automate the process. The first place to start is choosing the right automation app for handling exit interviews.

Over to you

An automated exit interview app can guarantee confidentiality, make the employee off-boarding process more formalized, save the HR department a ton of administrative time, and work as a repository to reflect back on.

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Topics: Life @ Work

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