Do you wish you knew what you could have done to keep a departing team member?
with a terminating employee is your opportunity to gather information about what your office is doing well-and, what your office needs to do to improve.
Really effective exit interviews can give you that insight. They can teach you ways to repeat good experiences and avoid bad ones. Many times, the feedback employees provide is positive, and when it's not, it gives you valuable insight on how to fix it for your existing employees and new hires.
Plan the meeting
It's a smart idea to meet face-to-face for an exit interview. Your employees will appreciate the gesture, and it will generally result in more productive conversations.
What to ask
While you never want the conversation to appear scripted, there are key questions you want to touch on when you conduct exit interviews. You should also ask some of the same questions across the board in every exit interview. This way you can compare answers and look for common responses.
Here are some important questions to ask:
What caused you to start looking for a new job in the first place?
What is the office doing right? Moderately right? Poorly? Very Poorly?
How could conditions be improved?
What would you do to improve the situation that is causing you to leave?
How do other employees feel about the situation? The office in general?
What isn't the office currently doing, that if it started to do, would improve things?
What were three things you enjoyed most about working here?
If you could change three things, what would they be?
Are there ideas that you have that you wish you could have implemented while you were here?
Please describe the three best things about working with your supervisor.
What would you change about our
employee orientation program
? In other words, are there things that you wish you had known before or during the beginning part of your employment with our office?
Processing employee feedback
Nearly every exit interview should help you identify opportunities for improvement within the office. Look for patterns in feedback from outgoing employees to identify possible organizational issues. If you do notice a trend, take it to heart and suggest some actions that can be taken to
avoid losing additional employees
For example, if you start hearing that many employees have left because the job was not what they expected to do when hired, it may be an indicator that you need to evaluate your job descriptions and/or hiring practices.
Unfortunately, if you are learning improvement ideas or
at the exit interview, it is too late to take action to improve or help the exiting employee. The best time for
an employee to discuss concerns
and suggestions with the doctor or their supervisor is while they are a committed employee, not on their way out the door.
Make sure your office provides multiple opportunities to gather and learn from employee feedback, including employee reviews. My next newsletter will help you develop and implement performance planning sessions (reviews) for your team.
End the exit interview meeting on a positive note. Commit to using the information provided to improve your workplace. Wish your employee success in their new endeavor. End the exit interview graciously.