I’m Outta Here | Why Exit Interviews Matter

Why Exit Interviews Matter

Imagine employing a midlevel manager to oversee a department of 17 employees. A year later only six remained; five had resigned and six had transferred. Why did 11 employees leave the company?

The answer to this question can be discovered in an exit interview, indicating how important these are. The greater goal for any company is to retain its valued employees. When looking at research, there have been studies showing that high turnover rates predict low performance. If the turnover rate in a firm is a high, it is ever so important to figure out the underlying reasons for the employees’ exodus. Unfortunately, many companies fail to conduct exit interviews or collect exit interview information but do not analyse it. Some may analyse it but do not share it with senior line leaders who have the power to act on it.

Exit interviews allow companies to assess the overall employee experience within the organisation and identify opportunities to improve retention and engagement. As well as this, they allow for a deeper look at the workplace culture, day-to-day processes, management solutions, and employee morale. Exit interviews act as a process that can create a constant flow of feedback. Setting clear standards when conducting these exit interviews can play a crucial role in risk management, since employee issues are addressed justly and effectively within the workplace, resulting in no need for external investigations, litigation, or bad publicity to follow. Exit interviews may be carried out face-to-face, through a questionnaire, a survey, or a combination of those methods, and can catalyse leaders’ listening skills, reveal what does or does not work inside the organisation, highlight hidden challenges and opportunities, and generate essential competitive intelligence. Employee engagement can be promoted, and retention can be enhanced by signalling to employees that their views matter.

Retaining employees

When an employee is leaving an organisation, they may feel free to answer the employers’ questions about their basic concerns at the workplace. For example, answering questions such as “Why do you want to quit?”, “Is there anything we could have done to make you stay?”, or “Were you able to communicate well with your manager?”. The answers to these questions help to identify and recognise the actual concerns of the employee. They also help understand if there’s any pattern for employee resignation.

Revealing structural / cultural issues

When an employee leaves the company, they would be more willing to discuss any problems. They no longer need to worry about their criticism affecting their career. Therefore, this employee could give the company great insights into corporate and leadership culture, thereby identifying potential problems from within. Exit interviews can help you as an employer gain useful insights about things that are difficult to gather during regular surveys because the employee will not be biased in their answers due to the fact that they do not belong to the organisation anymore. Questions such as “Is our organisational culture welcoming?” or “What are the three areas where the company / your manager needs improvement?”, can aid in managerial improvement.

Maintaining a strong employer brand

Exit interviews are often the final opportunity for employers to leave a good impression. An honest conversation with the employee may show that a company can accept criticism, admit its mistakes, and demonstrate a willingness to improve. If an employer can show the ability to listen carefully to a departing employee and convey appreciation for it, they will remember you as an employer in a rather positive manner and may even recommend your organisation to others in the future.

Uncovering employee conflicts if any

As already mentioned before, it can be hard to gain a good sense of how employees feel about the organisational culture or about their co-workers when they are still employed by the company. They may not have complained about conflicts that arose with their co-workers but that does not mean they were happy in their working environment. Consequently, exit interviews allow employers to uncover such conflicts between employees and recognise if there is a current employee that has been causing problems without the managers noticing.

Maintaining a positive work culture

When employers treat their employees who are leaving the organisation with respect and gratitude during the exit interviews, it makes the existing employee feel positive about their workplace. In other words, it makes current employees view their employer in a positive light since they are showing that they care about employee insights and are willing to improve any faults the organisation may have that were identified in the exit interview. The latter results in employees staying focused and happily engaged at work.

For assistance in all your hiring needs and for any further advice on how to conduct an exit interview contact one of the GRS Recruitment team today info@grsrecrutiment.comor call +357 25342720.