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3 ways to conduct a successful exit interview

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Exit interviews. Is there any point? When done correctly indeed there is. As soon as workers see their colleagues leave they are often left asking the question ‘Why did they leave?’ An exit interview should give employees a voice to express their parting thoughts about the company.

If your exit interview process is not answering that all important question, you are wasting your time. To help you make the most of your exit interview process we have highlighted three key steps you need to take:

1.Set Goals

You need to be clear on what you want to achieve by doing an exit interview. Your focus may be on improving job satisfaction in respect of aspects like pay, workload, supervision, communication, and scope for progression. Make sure you have all these points noted so you can refer to them in the interview.

2. Set the format

The second stage of a successful exit interview is the format. There are a number of formats companies use for exit interviews such as surveys, telephone interviews and face to face. Face to face interviews are better suited to gathering qualitative information and can reveal more complex reasons for someone’s decision to quit. The format you choose however will depend on resource and cost.

3. Who?

The final stage of the process is focussed on who conducts the interview. When considering an internal or external interview it is important to think about which option the interviewee will feel most comfortable with and thus will be likelier to respond to more openly. It is crucial that interviewers are properly trained so that they are able to manage the process efficiently. They should be provided with relevant information in line with the interview goals and have some insight into the employee they are interviewing.

When done correctly exit interviews are a great mechanism to identify true reasons for employee disaffection and help organizations boost future retention rates, making it vital for them to make the most of this opportunity.

To find out more about the impact of exit interviews read the full article ‘Why did they leave? How exit interviews can boost employee retention’ published in Human Resource Management International Digest.

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