How Exit Interviews Can Improve Your Company

By Adam Robinson,
January 17, 2014

Following an exit interview process is an important step toward understanding why employees are leaving their role, and for pointing out areas for improvement and growth within the company. Exit interviews are a valuable resource for any company, and can be implemented into any exit process.

Exit interviews should be completed for all employees who leave the company on their own terms, not those who are terminated. Typically, it is best for the interviews to be completed by someone on the HR team, and not be the employee’s manager. This allows the employee to be completely open and honest about the positive and negative things they encountered during their time with the company, their experience with their manager, and the reasoning behind their leave. Another way to make employees feel more comfortable is to complete the exit interview in the last day or two of employment. Typically companies require at least a two week notice from employees, which gives plenty of time to prepare for and schedule the interview.

Exit interviews provide a wealth of information that can help to improve a company. Especially in companies facing turnover issues, it is important to understand why employees are leaving. By completing the exit interview process, companies can learn which factors influenced the employees decision to leave. For example, a company may not realize that employees are feeling like there isn’t a good work-life balance, or that their salary isn’t competitive in the marketplace. Other issues that cause employees to leave are bad management, no upward mobility, or feeling unchallenged in their role. 

As with all interviews, the exit interview should follow a format, and all employees should be asked the same questions during their interview. The interview can either be in person, over the phone, or completed as a questionnaire with multiple choice answers and/or open ended questions. A questionnaire is also a great tool to spur discussion if completed prior to the in person or telephone conversation. Once information is collected from the exit interviews, data can be compiled and presented to management to show trends in reasons for leaving and areas within the company that need improvement or evaluation.

All in all, exit interviews can provide a lot of important information that will help improve company culture, processes and management. By improving these areas, companies can lower turnover, improve employee happiness and motivation, and nurture the overall culture of the company.

If you’re conducting exit interviews, it sounds like you may need to make a new hire. Here’s a few tips to improve your career site. 

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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