As a rule, it costs much more time and money to replace a lost employee than to hire for a new position. Therefore, it’s important for companies to conduct exit interviews with departing employees so that they can gather feedback at this critical time. Exit interviews are very useful because employees tend to be much more candid about why they are leaving. After all, they don’t have anything to lose at this point. Many of them are all but happy to share both positives and negatives about their experience. So too, exit interviews can be used to retain some employees whether by making a better offer to the employee that may be leaving or using the information to improve the workplace for others.
How can your organization turn an otherwise negative situation into a positive one by utilizing exit interviews? Here are some suggestions from one of the leading staffing agencies in Atlanta, PrideStaff Atlanta.
Make Exit Interviews Mandatory a Week In Advance
Don’t wait until the last day of employment to conduct an exit interview. This day may be filled with a mix of emotions and can be very awkward for a departing employee. Instead, as soon as the employee gives notice schedule the exit interview and make sure it happens at least a week before their intended leave date.
Conduct Exit Interviews in the Neutral Hr Zone
All exit interviews should take place in a neutral, non-threatening area of the human resource office. This should be conducted between a member of your senior HR team and the employee behind closed doors. Kick the meeting off by making the employee feel comfortable, offer a bottle of water, and just be receptive to the information that will be shared.
Keep the Exit Interview Focused On Getting Information
The exit interview is about learning more from the employee about their decision to leave the company. It is not a time to pry into the personal life of the employee. Ask job specific questions to determine what led up to the employee’s decision to leave and encourage the employee to share openly. Use a checklist to cover topics around the job itself, their manager, the corporate culture, the compensation, career advancement, and more.
Ask the Departing Employee What Would Make Them Stay
Instead of putting the employee on the spot and asking why he or she is leaving, ask the employee what would make them stay? This is a much more positive way to find out what is behind the intended departure and it could also be a chance to remedy the situation for the employee. For example, there could be a personal issue that needs attention and the employee doesn’t know that they can ask for a leave of absence. Solve the issue and you could retain an employee.
Respect the Employee and Ask for Suggestions for Improvement
Above all else, remember to treat the employee with full respect. This is a working professional who has given much of their time and effort to supporting your company. Thank the employee for their service and dedication to the company and wish them well. Offer a letter of reference if needed. Instruct the employee on what will happen with compensation and benefits after they depart the company. Encourage the employee that if they ever want to come back there is an open door policy at your company.
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