Have you ever been to an exit interview?
Ever since you started working, how many jobs have you quit? Have you ever been asked to sit for an exit interview? Have there been things you really wanted to say to the management or to your ex-employees and you couldn’t because you never had the professional opportunity to?
Exit interviews are most important, if it is done right. It is the final opportunity to get an employee’s honest feedback about their tenure with the organization. Employees leaving an organization is inevitable, but it doesn’t always have to be a negative factor. Having an exit interview, getting a genuine feedback from an employee who doesn’t have to worry about how it will affect his/her work any longer can be very insightful.
Why is it important for the employee?
An exit interview can be the final opportunity for an employee to do some good for the organization before their departure. They can give you an insight about how their tenure with the organization was, what made them make the decision of leaving and if things were different whether they would choose to stay.
Easier said than done – Not all employees are comfortable being open about things such as what “really” made them leave. Leaving an organization can be quite emotional – handing over the resignation can be hard enough that the last thing they want is to have an exit interview and “talk about it”. Even if they are unhappy and leaving, they would rather not dig deep into it and would consider it unnecessary drama and would want to avoid it at any cost. Some employees get way too emotional and project it with anger at exit interviews and this wouldn’t do any good either and no reasonable data would be collected to help the organization to benefit from it. Sometimes the interviewers don’t want to hear the actual reasons so they would avoid topics that brings up the actual reasons throughout the interviews – this is why exit interviews MUST NOT be biased. One of many other reasons why employees would not want to be a part of exit interviews could be that they think it doesn’t change anything and it’s just a part of the exit process. However, there will always be employees that will be open to talk about improvements, give constructive criticism, be honest to the core and point out areas that need improvement and this is the exact sort of data that will be highly useful.
Why is it important for the organization?
An exit interview will lead to the organization to have a clearer insight about how it’s employees see the organization, what can be added or changed in the work culture, what the growth opportunities are there for the organization or see inefficient processes or bad management if any and take action about it.
At the end of the day there’s no use of an exit interview, if it’s just part of a process. Actions has to be taken following serious consideration on what was said at each exit interview by the employees. There could be patterns of serious issues that will be ignored by the organization if the organization doesn’t genuinely pay attention for the data collected form the exit interviews. Letting this happen can result the organization with losing loyal employees one after the other, and it could’ve been easily prevented if the previous data collected from exit interviews was taken seriously as it should.
By having exit interviews and using its data for the organizations improvement, it will help the employees see the change. This will surely help with employee retention. Because who wouldn’t want to be considered valuable? An organization will see real change to positivity in anything organization related when the employees are happy, satisfied and realize that the organization is taking measures to actually keep them that way.
Finally, following a successful exit interview the employee will walk out of the organization feeling heard. They would appreciate the gesture and will be happy about the fact that their statement can bring real positive change/ improvement for the organization. The interviewer, with that same energy and with a good idea about what positive changes should be made with the replacement of that employee or the next hire for the organization.
Talent Acquisition Executive – Envoy Ortus