Three Questions to Ask in Exit Interviews

Joseph Stubblebine
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An exit interview occurs when a company conducts a survey with an individual who is leaving the organization. This can happen when a student graduates from a college or, most often, when an executive or another employee puts in notice to leave for another job. Exit interview questions seek information on how the company can improve to decrease turnover rates, improve productivity, and even reduce absenteeism.

According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the best questions to ask during an exit interview is what made the person start looking for another job. Exit interview questions can help human resources review the company's compensation package to find ways to improve benefits or to find ways to incorporate a flexible work schedule. By asking why the person chose to leave, you can get a good idea what is making employees unhappy or feeling disengaged. You can also find out if the cause is because of other employees or dissatisfaction with management.

Another question to ask during the exit interview is if there is anything that could have been done to prevent the individual from leaving. Many times, you will learn about difficult situations that could have been remedied—often human resources does not know how bad a situation has become. According to HC Magazine, employees will stay in a position they don't particularly like if they have an excellent manager. On the flip side, employees who don't like their bosses will leave positions they like.

In some instances, you may want an individual to stay. Ask the person during the exit interview if there is anything that can be done to ensure the person doesn't quit. In most cases, it is much cheaper to make small changes in an organization than it is to hire and train someone else. If the person is leaving for a higher salary, see if there is any way to offer more money or a better benefits package to entice them to stay. You may also offer a different position or allow the person to work from home if they are looking for a way to care for schoolchildren once they get out of school each day. Sometimes, you can find out in an exit interview that only minor changes need to be made to get someone to stay.

An exit interview is a way to show the organization is not afraid of criticism and is willing to work on making things better for employees. Use this interview as a way to grow and learn about your employees and make things better for those who remain with the company.



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