The Importance of an Exit Interview
Do you exit-interview? No matter how large or small you are, whether you are private or public sector and no matter your industry, academia or otherwise, tracking turn-over of employees and key contractors is important for your business. (And I include contractors here because in this day and age of out-sourcing, many contractors play a key role in the operations of our businesses and organizations.) What trends are you noticing? Are you asking the tough questions, or any questions at all, when a business relationship comes to a close? If not, you are missing vital data that could potentially reveal issues or addressable costs.
It's a new year. Create a short form and start asking a few questions during your next adieu. Note if the departure is voluntary or involuntary, your choice or theirs, the underlying cause, and suggestions that the now former business associate has for improving this position or your organization in general. I have included few other questions below as well. Be sure to check with your attorney and/or human resources manager for their feedback as some situations may vary. Do what you can to be clear and positive. These contacts have a special perspective on what it takes for you and your organization to succeed. If handled correctly, you realize a real opportunity for critical feedback and possibly even referrals in the future.Sample questions:
- If voluntary, why have you decided to leave the organization?
- Do you feel that the position you had with this organization was described well to you at the time of your hiring? How could that be improved?
- Have you shared your concerns with anyone in our organization prior to deciding to leave? What response did you receive?
- If voluntary, what does your new position/client offer that encouraged you to leave our organization?
- What do you value about our organization? What are we doing well?
- What did you dislike about the company? What are we not doing as well as we should?
- What is your perception of the morale or reputation of the organization?
- How was your interaction with your manager and are there any suggestions for improving this leader's management style?
- Do you feel you understood the goals of your position and received adequate feedback?
- What would you change about this position? Were there resources and support you needed that you didn't have?
- What would you recommend to help us improve our organization's workplace?
- (Unless position/function being eliminated) What are the key qualities and skills we should look for when filling this position in the future?
- Do you have any recommendations to improve employee or contractor relations?
- (If appropriate) What would make you consider working for this company again in the future? Would you recommend the company as a good place to work to your friends and family?
- Anything else we should know?
Take good notes. Be gracious and, above all, listen. You may learn some very valuable information.