What is The Best Ways to Conduct Exit Interview?
Exit Interview is a standard procedure with big organizations. The process is an integral part of an HR process and completes the hiring-resigning loop. Introducing a new employee to an organization is equally essential as conducting their Exit Interview. The idea is, as you welcome a new employee in your organization, it is also necessary to release an employee in the same goodwill, as the employee was kept while on the job.
Employees may change jobs for reasons like – a hike in salary, better working standards, leave policy, relocation criteria, or maybe some dispute or issue at the current organization. An employee might not come openly and express his or her state of mind or trivia while on the job. Only when they have a haven, having found another job or out of current employment, would they express.
Some employees change jobs due to management issues or due to their immediate seniors and therefore choose not to express. However, there are chances that an unsatisfied employee might disgrace the organization after leaving, considering he/she is no more accountable, and this, to a large extent, can be arrested. Your existing employees are your goodwill, and they will move on to other organizations some time or the other.
Here are Some Important Questions to ask in Exit Interview:
1. Why do you want to leave?
2. What is the best thing you enjoyed in this organization?
3. Would you wait if we can match-up or make a counteroffer?
4. What has been your overall experience with us?
5. Would you recommend a friend or a reference to join us? Yes/ No and why?
6. What improvements do you suggest we undertake as an organization?
7. Was the management supportive in your entire tenure with the organization?
8. Did you enjoy work / challenging project opportunities while with us?
9. Do you feel any of the policies/ procedures/ systems with this organization are difficult to follow and need to change?
10. Were you asked to contribute your ideas and opinions while you worked here?
11. Do you think you got ample opportunities to train on the job?
12. Did you have any communication gaps with your seniors or level-ups?
13. Were you given constructive feedback from time to time about your job role?
14. What is one thing that you would like to change here in this organization if given an opportunity?
15. Do you have any feedback/ comments or inputs for us before you leave?
How to Conduct Exit Interview?
Conducting an exit interview is not an easy task. Specific aspects need a check and an environment that would foster open communication. Let us understand the parameters that could lead to better exit interview:-
1. Conduct interviews in a neutral atmosphere
Exit Interviews should be conducted in a neutral atmosphere, away from the employees’ regular working space and department.
2. Conduct interview in private settings
Private settings help create an environment of trust, and this leads the employee to converse freely without being pressurized of being heard or judged.
3. Interviews to be done by HR and not line heads
Line heads are the reporting bosses and should not be conducting the exit interview. Employees will be least comfortable discussing issues with their immediate seniors. Ideally, an HR person should affect the exit interview.
4. Emotional touch
Even if the employee is leaving the organization, don’t let the human in you stray at judging the employee. Remain emotionally connected to matters the employee puts across or wants to discuss.
5. Structured format and questions
A structured questionnaire and form serve good in conducting an exit interview and ensures a standard set of data that can help derive conclusions. If you are interviewing different employees under different parameters, you might get some inputs, but the purpose of obtaining relevant and standard data will be lost.
6. Maintain a decorum
An exit interview should follow the same strict protocol as an interview.
Don’t stretch the interview time too long, but comfortable enough for discussions. Do not let your purpose stray and keep off all gossips and unwanted feedback.
8. Exit interview form
A dedicated exit interview form serves the purpose of obtaining and maintaining standard information in physical format.
Whats the Need for an Exit Interview?
The need for an exit interview is to bring in a culture of feedback. Your organization might have excellent standards; nevertheless, there still will be employees looking for a change or opting for the best in the industry. Exit Interview is a process to decode what essentially is working right and what’s not in your organization. The best person to offer the feedback is the employee leaving the organization, as he/she is under zero accountability.
1. Honest employee feedback
An exit interview is a source of obtaining honest employee feedback. Employees are no more in the accountability zone and also do not hold fear of losing their job. The exit interview is a process to get honest feedback from the departing employees, which would, in turn, help solve gaps. Employees during exit interviews come out with issues or conflicts that have led them to leave the job.
2. Employees perception of the company
The exit interview is an excellent medium to ascertain what an employee feels about the organization after serving it for long. The company culture, management practices, policies, and procedures, in what way they have helped an employee, and where there are visible gaps. The repetitive pattern of answers could help look into matters carefully and thus correct.
3. How effective is your hiring process?
An effective hiring process certainly reflects on the exit interview. There are cases where the employee has served the organization for an extended period before leaving, ensures a good hire, and a sound interview process. When an employee leaves the organization in a short span of joining, it suggests gaps in the recruitment process, which could be possible gaps between expectations and deliverance.
4. Gaps in Communication
Communication gaps may arise between set expectations and reality. The communication gap could also be between employee and senior, which would sometimes leave no option for the employee to revolt, but quit.
5. Gaps in Processes
Some organizations do not follow structured processes. Gaps in processes mean skipped levels, unachieved targets, and unmet results, which might indeed lead to underscoring during appraisals and, therefore, no hike, leading to a change of job.
6. Salary & Benefits of Industry Standards
Salary is an important criterion that could hold back your employee’s loyalty. Employees are in touch with their friends and ex-colleagues in the industry and always aware of the industrial salary norms. If your organization is not compensating employees at par or according to industrial standards, then there are chances of losing your employees to your better-paying competitors.
7. Areas of concern
Very few employees might leave a job on a happy note, having served a considerable period in the organization. Most of the employees leave your organization because of some level of concern. This concern could be financial, management, company culture, motivation, company policies, or just engagement. Organizations need to address these concerns for a better working environment. Existing employees will seldom be very frank enough to offer feedback on the worries, and only exit interviews of departing employees can help through.
8. Prospective Future
Some employees come with the aim of a long-term carrier and not just obtaining a job. How has your organization been able to fulfill their career growth path? Have you brought enough value to the employee’s future, that the employee will want to stay committed to your organization?
Aspects of an Interviewer
An employee has put down his/her papers and is under no obligation to answer you or serve. In such a scenario, it is crucial who conducts the exit interview, as a lot can be sourced from an employee who has practically no strings attached to your organization. However, the interviewer plays a vital role in bringing out the right information.
1. Calm and composed
An exit interview should be conducted by an interviewer who is calm and composed and is a good listener.
2. Neutral demeanor
The interviewer should hold a neutral demeanor and should not react to situations or answers. The employee might get enraged or might insult, but it is the responsibility of the interviewer to remain as neutral as possible.
3. Analytical approach
The exit interview should be conducted by someone who has an analytical approach and knows how to read between the lines. Sometimes an employee hints a lot, but does not communicate openly; the interviewer should be a good judge at analyzing situations and decode. The interviewer should also be able to use the feedback gathered to offer an analytical review and opinion.
4. Don’t come to conclusions
An interviewer should be a good listener and should not reach conclusions or dominate the conversation as this will refrain the employee from expressing openly.
5. Don’t be defensive
Defensive is not the way. An interviewer is there to collect data and not judge right away.
6. Don’t compare
During an exit interview, don’t compare the employee with any other employee or with the milieu in general.
7. Do not sway from the topic
Stay focussed on the exit interview at hand and do not stray from the subject. The employee might get defensive or aggressive with certain issues. Try to get back the conversation to normal.
8. Engage in productive inputs
Ask the employee how they can bring productive feedback to the organization, such that it acts on the concerns.
9. Don’t mislead
During exit interviews, please don’t feed the employees with unwanted hints and let them give the feedback naturally.