by Strategic HR Partners


by Strategic HR Partners

HR OnsiteConsulting

For employees, exit interviews are one of the last deep conversational interactions they have with your company. It should be their chance to give a review of their experience, an opportunity that affirms the contributions they’ve made to your organization.

When both parties focus on these learning and knowledge-sharing goals, exit interviews can help working relationships end on a good note. Many times the feedback employees provide is positive, and when it’s not, it gives you valuable insight on how to fix it for your existing employees.

Plan the meeting

It’s a smart idea to meet face-to-face for an exit interview. Your employees will appreciate the gesture, and it will generally result in more productive conversations.

What to ask

While you never want the conversation to appear scripted, there are key questions you want to touch on when you conduct exit interviews. You should also ask some of the same questions across the board in every exit interview. This way you can compare answers and look for common responses.

1. Why are you leaving?

2. What is the company doing right? Moderately right? Poorly? Very Poorly?

3. How could conditions be improved?

4. What would you do to improve the situation that is causing you to leave?

5. Please describe your general feelings about working here. If possible, please tell us why you are leaving.

6. What were three things you enjoyed most about working here?

7. If you could change three things, what would they be?

What not to ask

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

2. Don’t feed office gossip. It’s never constructive and won’t be reliable information.

3. Don’t say anything that could be construed as slander. The conversation should focus on the employee’s 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.

Processing employee feedback

Nearly every exit interview should help you identify opportunities for improvement within the company. Share key points from the meeting with an employee’s supervisor or to the next level up when the feedback is relevant.

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