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Three Actions to Take During an Exit Interview to Learn from a Departing Employee

An exit interview is designed to give your company a clearer idea of why an employee is leaving. Giving them an opportunity to be open and honest about what was not working for them provides information to improve the workplace for future employees. Here are three actions to take during an exit interview. When searching for accounting professionals, reach out to Alliance Resource Group, one of the leading accounting firms in Orange County.

Ask Questions

An HR staff member typically conducts an exit interview with the departing employee. Talking with the employee facilitates exploring and understanding their views. The HR member may begin with a light discussion to help the employee feel comfortable and assure them that no adverse consequences will result from openly sharing information. The staff member may let the employee know that what they share will help the company improve and retain valued teammates. The questions should gather useful, actionable information about company culture, working conditions, colleagues, and the job itself. For instance, the HR member may ask what caused the employee to begin looking for a new job. If they shared their concerns with other employees before deciding to leave, the HR rep may ask how they responded. The staff member could ask what the manager could do to improve their management style and skill.

Learn Why Employees Leave

The HR staff member should create an amalgamation of feedback from multiple exit interviews to protect the privacy of departing employees. Some issues may be resolvable, such as quieting down a noisy work environment, involving the employee in stretch assignments and goals, or more openly communicating with the employee so they can perform better. Other issues may not have been as resolvable, such as the desire for a salary increase, working under a different manager, or changing the direction the department or company is moving in.

Determine How to Improve

After thanking the departing employee for their participation and wishing them success, the HR staff member should commit to evaluating the information to identify the root cause of the departure and how it could be addressed. Perhaps the training seemed inadequate, there were insufficient opportunities to collaborate, or the employee felt repeatedly passed over for advancement. The HR rep should work on creating an employee retention program based on what they learned. They may begin by measuring the turnover rate and comparing it to industry benchmarks. Next, the staff member could develop a compensation strategy based on the value of each employee to build loyalty. Then, the HR rep can implement changes to improve the work environment based on what the departing employee said. Finally, the HR member needs to share the information with executives so that key decision-makers can help with implementing the program.

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