Exit interviews are a great source of information for organizations that understand how to perform them effectively. Develop a plan for how you will conduct the interviews and how you will use the information you gain from them. Structure the interview to learn what you need to know from your company and treat your exiting employees in a manner that encourages them to be open and forthright.
Here are some tips to make your exit interviews more effective:
Establish a process. Don’t just grab an employee on his last day for a chat. Know what you expect to get out of the interview. Have a goal. Do you need to know particulars about the department he worked in? If he was a valued employee, would you like to learn how to better retain people like him in the future? Ask meaningful questions and be candid.
Choose the right interviewer. The best interviewer is one who is capable of seeing beyond rote answers. Look for someone who will treat the employee with empathy, ask probing and follow-up questions. If you don’t have an HR professional available, consider a manager from another department. Employees may want to spare the feelings of their direct supervisor and may not be completely candid.
Interview a range of employees. Conduct exit interviews whenever possible, from entry-level employees right up through the ranks. It’s a great way to get an accurate cross-section of your company. What you’re doing wrong, what you’re doing right and how you can improve or change.
Look for patterns. If you get negative input from just one employee, it could be someone with an axe to grind or a generally negative attitude. But if you continue to hear similar complaints or if negative feedback is concentrated under a single manager, you may want to investigate further.
Put the information to use. Don’t just file away the responses you invested the time into gathering. Do more of what makes people happy, less of what makes them want to move on. Make exit interviews part of your continuous improvement plan.
Coach your managers. It’s been said that people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. Use exit interview results to help your managers get better at their jobs or to identify those who may not be well-suited to management.
Recruit for retention. Use the information you gleaned to improve your recruitment process and hire people who are a great fit for your organization. Ideally, you’ll have fewer exit interviews to conduct, because fewer valued employees will leave!
If you need advice on effective interviewing techniques for incoming candidates or outgoing employees, contact the experts at Burnett’s Staffing. Our recruiting professionals can help you find, attract and retain the best people. Contact us to learn more about our staffing services in Irving, TX and beyond.