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Employee Exit Interview Solutions

Question:

We try to do exit interviews with our employees when they leave but we either get no response or very poor information with just yes / no responses.  What can I do to try and get better responses from employees leaving so I can take a serious look at our cause of turnover, etc.?

Answer:

Well done exit interviews can provide valuable information regarding turnover within an organization.  The information obtained can assist with retention and can even identify concerns regarding supervision.  These meetings also allow for a last-chance discussion and assure that the employee leaves on the best terms avoiding potential claims or even ‘bad-press’ for the organization.

Even with all of these positives for the organizations, getting departing employees to participate (and see any benefit of it from their perspective) can sometimes be difficult.  In most instances these employees have checked out and aren’t willing to share information with the departing company.  Many employees aren’t interested in drudging up old issues or criticizing the organization in their moments before departure.  Doing so could jeopardize a good reference letter or even create issues with coworkers later in their careers.

For all of these reasons, it is important to push for these valuable pieces of information.  A few suggestions on how to get the information include:

  • Make sure the employees understand why you are asking for the information and what will be done with it.
  • Consider using a neutral third-party to get the information to allow for confidentiality.
  • Consider waiting for a period of time after the individual departs to get the exit interview data (3 to 6 months) after there is some emotional distance from the job.

Using some of these suggestions may help to improve not only your response rate but the value of the data you obtain. For more information on why you are asking, what to ask and what to do with the data.

Did you know that most employees leave their jobs because of their managers, not their employers? Are you having difficulties in your company that stem from employee-manager related issues? Strategic HR, inc. has years of experience in managing employment relations and coaching employees, and managers, on how to resolve conflicts. Visit our Employee Relations page to learn how we can help you resolve some of your toughest ER problems.