At GL group, we conduct an exit interview with every employee. No matter their reasons for leaving, we feel that exit interviews are a great opportunity to learn what this employee feels was working – and what wasn’t.
Many people tell you that they are leaving for more money, they need a different schedule, their drive time is too long, etc. Those might all be true, but the bottom line is that something caused them to take the step to look for a new job. We want to know the real reason.
Sometimes I feel like I sound like a two-year-old in exit interviews, always asking why, why, WHY? But the more I ask and continue to dig deeper, the closer I get to a true root cause. I often find that the original reason the candidate gives us for leaving is not the actual reason they started looking.
We also use exit interviews to determine why the employee stayed as long as they did. What do they love about GL group? What do they want more of? Even though they’re leaving, we want to also hear about the good things.
As a member of our HR team, I facilitate most of our exit interviews. We find that when a neutral party (not their supervisor or someone from their department) completes the interview, the employee can speak freely. I compile all exit interview information so our team can determine if there are common themes with employees exiting.
We take the information we gather during exit interviews very seriously and use it to make the company better. Because of feedback, we obtained during exit interviews, we have added headcount, reorganized departments, updated a benefit, and more. These interviews really do help us make our organization and culture better.
To make the most out of exit interviews, we try to make the best use of the time we have with our outgoing employee. In general, we try to steer clear of yes or no questions. We have an exit interview template that we use, but that is just a guide. The responses the employees gives helps me figure out in what order to ask questions along with where to follow up with new questions. Some basic questions we ask include:
What does your new role or company have that we don’t?
What did your supervisor do well? What can they improve on?
How did you feel about the benefits and compensation?
What do you like most about your role? Least?
Would you recommend us to a friend or family member? Why or why not?
Are there any other unresolved issues or additional comments?
At GL group, we always want to do the right thing. We also believe that our employees hold the answers to improving our business. So whether an employee stays three-months or 13 years, each exit interview is equally important in helping us grow.
Written by: Jennifer Patterson