Are Exit Interviews Worth the Time and Effort for a Company? As a management tool, exit interviews have been considered both successful and useless…so can they reduce turnover or are they an inaccurate aggregate data collection process? Turnover is expensive. If you can determine the reasons people are leaving a company, then an action plan can be put in place to reduce the number of people departing a company. Research has shown that employees who are leaving want to “exit out” with the ability to tell what they liked about the job and what they would like improved.
So, how to best conduct an exit interview? Typically, a management member in human resources would conduct this interview and standard questions would be asked. It is also possible for an automated process to be put into place whereby the departing employee fills out a questionnaire – anonymously – and the date is recorded and analyzed monthly or on a set schedule. If the personal touch is desired and a neutral party preferred from outside the organization, a human resources consultant can to used to conduct a personal interview. This can be done over the phone or using a video program such as Skype. The consultant will ask the standard questions and, many times, the answers will be given more honestly and freely due to the interviewer not being an employee of the company.
Every company’s top management must determine if collecting this information is valuable. Then the questions must be determined. Ask about the culture, any unresolved problems, opinion about the employee benefits, the pay, etc. Then, decide on the interview method. Confidentiality must be maintained. The data must be analyzed in aggregate to determine patterns. And action must be planned if problem areas are identified. Departing employees should appreciate goodwill from the exit interview if done well. We can assist you with your exit interview process.
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Jean is a certified senior-level human resources executive/consultant, adjunct professor, management trainer, professional speaker, resume writer, career coach, and published author.