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The Value of Exit Interviews

The cost of losing employees can be measured in many ways - dollars, knowledge lost, loss of productivity and disruption in customer service. Focusing on corporate culture is an excellent way to increase employee retention, but change does not happen overnight and missteps can be costly. You need to know that the changes you are making are going to be successful. How do you measure your success? How do you know you are on the right path?

The best way to avoid losing employees is to talk to the people you are losing. Exit interviews are the best way to verify why someone is leaving or to find out why they stayed as long as they did. People commonly assume that the majority of the people leave because of compensation, but a well-planned exit interview will show whether or not the changes your team is incorporating are making an impact. It is an opportunity to learn what your company is doing well and where it needs to improve.

While losing an employee is unfortunate, you now have a valuable opportunity to avoid losing more employees. Do not squander the opportunity by failing to be prepared in advance.

  • Set goals before the interview
    Are there specific programs you want feedback on such as training, on-boarding practices, management styles?
  •  Build rapport
    The quality of the information you receive will hinge upon the honesty of the conversation. Focus on the contributions the employee brought to the company first and be genuine of in your appreciation of their value.
  • Ask for feedback 
    People want to share their insight, but they might be reluctant to share their thoughts without your invitation.
  • Do not burn bridges
    Companies benefit from having former employees return after years away with new knowledge and experiences. Make sure that valuable employees know they will be welcome back.