Exit interviews - worthwhile or not?

Losing your best staff members and don't know why? The exit interview is there to help.

Learning from your mistakes

It's inevitable that, as a business, you'll lose some of your best and most favoured employees. On many occasions, they'll have their own reasons for leaving, and it won't be something you can impact. However, if you start to lose a significant number of valued staff members or notice a problem with turnover in general, an exit interview can be just the trick to switch things around.

With an exit interview, you have the opportunity to learn things about your business that an individual may not have felt able to share while they worked for you. Many employees, particularly younger generations who are used to the idea of changing companies often, are just as likely to leave when faced with a problem rather than alert their managers. An exit interview allows you to get to the bottom of issues and decide whether you need to take action to improve turnover.

Adding value to your exit interview process

The amount of information you can glean from one individual’s exit interview may be insubstantial. However, if you're able to record and tabulate information from several staff members, you'll be well placed to spot trends and build a clearer picture of common issues.

Using automated exit-interview surveys that allow employees to answer questions through sites such as SurveyMonkey can be an excellent choice for businesses that have a high turnover volume and lots of entry-level workers, as doing so takes the pressure off your HR department. Additionally, some departing staff members may find it easier to answer honestly online than they would in a face-to-face interview.

On the other hand, it's worth conducting a personal and in-depth exit interview with high-performing individuals or key members of staff. A good interview lets you lay the groundwork for a potential return in the future, when your business might be better able to offer the higher wage or improved position the individual desires.

Read up on some more useful advice for dealing with the departure of a star employee and try to turn a negative into a positive by conducting an adequate exit interview.

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