Exit Interviews: Do You Know Why Your Employees are Leaving?

Employee resignations are an unfortunate fact of business, and it can be especially disappointing when one your best employees decide to quit.   However, people leave jobs for many reasons, and it’s important that you find out why when an employee makes that decision.  The best way to obtain this is though having an exit interview—a meeting with a terminating employee that provides your organization with the opportunity to obtain frank, honest feedback from the employee.

Giving the employee that’s leaving an opportunity to share their thoughts and provide you with feedback can help you implement positive changes to help you better retain employees moving forward.  Here are a few things to consider when conducting an exit interview.

  • Have the interview conducted by HR.
    In order to receive the most honest feedback, have the exit interview conducted by someone other than the employee’s immediate supervisor—preferably a human resources representative.  The supervisor’s relationship with the employee can influence an employee’s decision to leave or stay, so they will likely not be completely honest about their decision for leaving when talking with their supervisor.
  • Explain the purpose.
    Make sure the employee understands why you’re conducting an exit interview. The essential purpose is to determine whether there are problems that need to be addressed to help prevent further employee turnover.
  • Make the interview one-on-one and confidential
    Assure that the employee knows that the interview is completely confidential and nobody beyond the person doing the interview will hear the employee’s specific comments.   All information provided is only to be used anonymously and no permanent record will be retained. Don’t gang up on an employee by having multiple people conduct the interview, and make sure that the interview is conducted in private, not in front of other employees. 
  • Have the employee summarize their experience.
    Ask the employee to sum up their general experience working with the company, both positive and negative.  By doing this instead of asking leading questions, the employee will likely provide more information since they won’t feel that they’re being bombarded.  You’ll also be able to pick up on body language and other nonverbal cues. 
  • Look for patterns.
    After the interview, assess and tabulate the information you were given.  Compare this info to that from previous exit interviews.  If you notice patterns emerging, consider what needs to be done to prevent future loss of good employees.
  • A few sample questions to get you started in the right direction:
    • How do you feel you were treated by your supervisor and coworkers?
    • Do you feel the workload was evenly distributed?
    • What could be done to make this company a better place to work?

An exit interview may not answer all your questions, but it can be a constructive way to learn why employees are leaving and what you can do to reduce turnover.

Reducing turnover starts with making sure you hire employees that are the best fit for your company.  Whether you’re looking for qualified temporary workers, temp-to-hire, or direct hire employees, the experienced staff at Area Temps can meet your requirements.  Contact us today for access to an applicant network of over 86,000 skilled candidates from the Greater Cleveland and Akron areas.

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