Tips on How to Conduct a Good Exit Interview

There are a number of reasons why an employee may move on from their position within your company. Rather than taking it personally, use staff departures as an opportunity to find out how your workplace can be improved. Creative staff exit interviews shed real light on the positives and negatives of working for your company. WHAT…


There are a number of reasons why an employee may move on from their position within your company.

Rather than taking it personally, use staff departures as an opportunity to find out how your workplace can be improved. Creative staff exit interviews shed real light on the positives and negatives of working for your company.

WHAT IS AN EXIT INTERVIEW?

An exit interview is carried out with the departing employee, just before they leave. The goal is to find out why they are leaving along with the things they liked and disliked about working in your business. Questions should drill down into the employee’s experience of your workplace. Examples include:

  • Why are you leaving?
  • Did the job meet your expectations?
  • Did you have the resources to carry out your role adequately?
  • What didn’t you like about working with this business?
  • What have been the positives of working here?

Using this valuable information to improve your workplace can increase satisfaction and loyalty among remaining workers.

SETTING UP AN EXIT INTERVIEW

Exit interviews can be done in several ways. While face-to-face generally works best, other methods may be easier or more convenient. You want the person to be completely honest about your company’s shortcomings. Putting personal feelings aside, honesty opens the door to finding genuine solutions to your workplace problems. Phone or written interviews carried out by a specialist agency may be less intimidating than a one-on-one interview. This encourages the person to open up about the real reasons for their departure. Online forms containing exit interview questions are also a good way to gather the information you need.

EXPLAIN WHY YOU’RE DOING AN EXIT INTERVIEW

The most useful responses tend to come when your candidate is relaxed and comfortable with the process. That’s why it’s important to explain what the exit interview is about. A productive encounter is more likely when the candidate knows the interview is purely to help you improve the business. Remember, too, there’s not much in it for the employee. Giving them a choice about the way they carry out the interview is therefore a sweetener.

CHOOSE SOMEONE NEUTRAL TO CARRY OUT THE INTERVIEW

After all, the person may be leaving because of a conflict with their manager or supervisor. That’s why HR staff or agencies are a good option to carry out exit interviews.

RESPECT THE EMPLOYEE’S OPINIONS

Give the employee a chance to explain things in their own words and summarise their time with you. Avoid negative reactions to their views.

INCLUDE OPEN AND CLOSED QUESTIONS

Multiple choice is a great way to collect and analyse data. Open ended questions are also important to give the answers context and depth. Exit interviews are a waste of time and resources if the information ends up sitting on a shelf unused. Most important of all then? Putting into practice the things you learn, to become a retail employer everyone wants to work for.