Exit interviews – should you carry them out?

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Do you carry out an exit interview when a member of staff resigns? No? It may be worth your while to start. Staff retention is important for any business and unless you take the time to understand why employees are leaving, you could be missing out on crucial information.

Although some employees may find it easier to give their feedback in a non-direct way (such as by filling in a questionnaire), it can be really helpful to conduct the interview face-to-face. This will enable better communication between the two parties and allow you to ask further questions about the answers they give.

Here are 5 reasons why you should always carry out an exit interview:

  • A comprehensive exit interview can give you insight into different areas of your business, including pay and culture.
  • You can find out information which will help improve staff retention. If there’s a particularly common reason employees are leaving, you can look into the root cause to prevent anyone else from resigning for the same reason.
  • Employees will feel valued by your business, even if they’re going, as you’ve taken the time to understand their reasons for resigning.
  • Exit interviews provide you with inside information about your business that you may not have realised. For example, you may find out that your staff member felt they needed to resign because they’re being bullied by another colleague – this may not have been brought to your attention.
  • By getting feedback on career development opportunities and other processes within your business, you may find a window to change the way things are carried out for the better.

You may choose to carry out an exit interview with a member of staff towards the end of their notice period. However it can be more beneficial to carry it out a few days after they’ve handed in their notice, as they’ll be less disengaged at that point.

Exit interviews, whilst sometimes uncomfortable, provide a valuable opportunity for you to learn more about your business. Make sure that any feedback you receive is noted and acted upon (where possible) so that you can continue to improve staff retention rates.

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