Let’s face it, at times, no matter what you do to keep the employee engagement level high or to maintain a good work environment, you will still lose employees every now and then. Losing employees (especially the talented ones) is not something that employers would enjoy as employee turnover can cause a huge drain to the company, due to the rehiring, retraining and the loss in productivity.
Nevertheless, there are ways to lessen the chances of losing good employees. One of the methods is by conducting carefully planned exit interview process to gather valuable data and feedback. As employees who are leaving are generally more honest with their feedback, the exit interview is crucial because this is where you can find out what’s their purpose of leaving and why, giving you a chance to truly identify root problems and areas of the company that require improvement.
Let’s get the most of your exit interview by asking these top 10 key questions:
- Why did you decide to leave the company?
Every employee has a reason to leave and very rarely will you find one who just leaves without any particular reason. You need to find out if it is a personal reason, which would then be beyond your control, or if it is a trigger from a problem in your company in which you need to rectify the cause.
- In your opinion, what could we have done better?
This question will help you identify the things your company can actually do to keep your current employees happy and to prevent other employees who might be suffering the same cause from leaving.
- What does your new company/position offer that made you decide to leave?
The answer to this question is valuable in the sense that it reveals to you what your competitors are willing to offer their new candidate. This will allow you to make a comparison on where you stand in the industry in terms of company benefits, flexibility and work culture.
- Do you feel underpaid here?
Your employee may not want to reveal his or her new salary in the new company, however, it is good to find out if he or she feels underpaid while working at your company. If majority of the employees who have left claimed that they felt underpaid while working in your company, then perhaps it is time for you to start revising the company’s salary scale.
- Do you face any problems while working with your manager?
Your employee may not dare to speak up against his or her manager while still being employed in your company, but asking this question during the exit interview helps to reveal some of the unspoken truth about the manager.
- Were you kept up to date on the new developments of the company or regularly feel that you were kept in the dark?
Your objective is to find out if there is transparency in your company. This plays an essential part as transparency can make your employees feel valued. If your leaving employee feels that he or she is regularly kept in the dark, chances are that there are more employees who feel the same.
- Were you given enough training to succeed in your job?
At times, employees resign simply because they feel that they are unable to advance in their career as they have not received enough training or guidance. If the answer is no, then you might want to start improving the training programme in your company, especially if these are good employees you wouldn’t want to lose.
- What did you like most about your job? What did you dislike most?
It’s important to learn about the things your company is doing right that make employees like their jobs; that gives you an idea if you are on the right path. It’s also beneficial for them to highlight some of the flaws so you could address and improve on the issues.
- If you had a friend looking for a job, would you recommend us? If not, why?
Even if it is time to say goodbye, you would want to part ways on good terms. Better yet, you would want your ex-employees to still promote and carry the good name of your company wherever they go. If not, then you need to find out what went wrong and rectify the problem.
- Is there anything else you wish to share with me?
This question covers pretty much on everything else that you have not asked during this exit interview and allows the employee one final chance to voice out his or her opinion, or provide an honest feedback about the company.
The greater goal of any successful company is to retain good talents. Having a high turnover will not only look bad on your company’s reputation, but will badly affect the overall employee morale and the work atmosphere in your company.
Exit interviews are key to companies’ improvement, and can be the answer to all their organisational problems. Employers need to start taking exit interviews seriously by asking the right questions to retrieve constructive feedback and quality data. Only then can appropriate actions be taken to improve their work environment and ultimately increase their employee retention rates.
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