Effective Exit Interviews

HR Resource
November 5, 2012 — 2,582 views  
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Effective Exit Interviews

Turnover can be something that causes a long list of problems for a company. When employees resign, the company has lost the money it spent to train those employees, there is the need to invest in new recruiting methods to find replacement employees and there is the money lost to low productivity as the replacement employees get up to speed on their new jobs. The proactive human resources professional utilizes the exit interview to help reduce turnover and improve retention.

When your company is forced to use terminations or layoffs to offset personnel costs, then that kind of an act can have a negative effect on the morale of the employees that you wind up keeping. When you understand the employee perception of your company, then you can make sure that the remaining employees feel secure in their jobs. You get information on that perception from exit interviews.

Basic Questions

It is important to remember that you will not always get the chance to perform an exit interview. That is why your exit interview process needs to be concise. You need to ask basic questions that deal with the essential reasons why employees are leaving the company.

You should have a quick and effective exit interview prepared for these situations that will tell you why the employee is leaving, whether or not the employee is leaving for opportunities with other companies and what your company could have done to keep employees from leaving.


Exit interviews can be a valuable source of information if you extend complete confidentiality to the employee you are interviewing. In some cases, it can be specific managers or executives that are causing employees to leave the company. This information is extremely vital in helping your company to make the changes it needs to make to improve working conditions. That is why it is important to offer all exiting employees complete confidentiality in the exit interview.

Let Them Talk

Unfortunately, you will not always find exiting employees that want to offer the valuable information that you need. But every so often, you will find an employee that can give you the insight you are looking for. If you have an exiting employee that is trying to offer you useful information, then put the standard exit interview away and let the employee talk.

Your exiting employees can offer you a wide array of helpful information that you will need to make effective changes to your organization. The exit interview is your chance to get that information and make the changes that will improve the work environment and employee retention.


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