Parting ways with an employee is a natural part of operating a business. Before you say goodbye for good, there is one final step you need to take. Requesting an exit interview with each leaving employee helps you gain valuable insight. This is your opportunity to learn about the employee experience from those working for you. By asking the right questions, you can learn valuable insights that can impact the future success of your business.
1. Company Culture Trends
One of the questions to ask during the exit interview is why the individual is leaving. The answer will vary significantly, but some will reference company culture. You will receive some direct answers that explicitly state culture as a reason.
Others will be more vague in their answer. Look for these clues so that you can track the company culture trends.
- Lack of communication
- Inconsistent policies
- Limited growth
- Lack of positive recognition
- Ignored contributions or feedback
- Poor work-life balance
One individual leaving because of company culture could be easily excused as the individual being the issue. However, when you start to identify trends, you need to take action.
2. Things Done Well
Look for things that your company does well. These are things you can reinforce and bolster. Knowing what employees think you are doing right will help you better understand what your employees want. It’s also important to not take the positives away by making changes. Without an effective exit interview, you could inadvertently make changes in an attempt to improve, only to make things worse.
3. Areas for Improvement
Look for ways you can improve. This could be in culture, management, hierarchy, hiring, or growth opportunities. No company is perfect. No company will make everyone happy. The key to improving is understanding if the employee’s feedback is a personal opinion or constructive. You can then take a deeper dive into these areas and look for ways you can improve your approach or process.
4. Employee Experience
During the exit interview, you can learn about the employee’s experience. While employed, employees don’t always come forward with grievances. They are more likely to speak their mind during an exit interview when there are fewer fears of negative repercussions. Ask the employee about their experience while employed by the company. Try to ask specific and probing questions. This will give you help and specific answers.
Ask about the employee’s experience during the hiring process. Then, about their experience during employment. Finally, the leaving process.
Perform Thorough Exit Interviews
Not every employee may want to participate in an exit interview. However, if they agree, take this opportunity to learn. You can use the information gathered to determine what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and culture trends. For the most effective exit interviews, have an outside company perform them. This puts a buffer between the company and the employee, helping to make the employee more comfortable and likely to speak truthfully.
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