High staff turnover and an unproductive workforce points to underlying problems in an organisation which, if left to fester, can seriously impact a business’s performance and ability to stay competitive. Hiring and training staff is costly in time, money and resources, and exit interviews can help you combat this by uncovering any problems within your company – once you’re aware of the issues, you can work on improving them to ensure employees are loyal and happy working for you.
Exit interviews are one of the best ways to get honest feedback about your business. You can handout endless staff surveys, but current employees can be reluctant to say what they really think about their fellow colleagues or manager, or bad-mouth the business, if they want to keep their jobs and avoid creating friction between people. An employee who is leaving the business doesn’t have the same concerns, so will be more likely to lay it all on the table and tell it like it is.
4 ways exit interviews benefit your business
1. Improve employee retention
As we’ve already covered, having to replace employees is expensive and can affect the remaining team members by having a lack of resources to cover the workload. This not only puts unnecessary pressure on your staff, but can have a knock on effect on the overall success of the business. Exit interviews help you to address the reasons for staff being unhappy in their roles, allowing you to do something about it.
2. See your company from employees’ perspective
You may think everything is just hunky-dory in the business, but if staff keep handing in their notices then it’s time to take your head out of the sand and find out what’s going wrong. Exit interviews give you a fuller picture of your business, from the people that are actually experiencing it day in day out.
3. Tackle business problems and create a better workplace
You may notice trends in the issues raised in employees’ exit interviews – this can help you tackle things head on, and stop current and future employees from handing in their notice for the same reason. This also allows you to make the business a more positive, pleasant place to work and improve overall staff satisfaction.
4. Create a stronger employer brand
A disgruntled employee can seriously damage your brand’s image – ranting on social media, leaving bad company reviews, and telling all their friends that you’re a terrible employer. Exit interviews give the person the opportunity to express their feelings and reassures them that their concerns are being taken seriously. By handling the interview in a professional manner, and using it as an opportunity to thank them for their contributions to the business, you’re more likely to leave them feeling validated and respected and therefore avoid any bad feelings.
Asking the right questions
Asking ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions won’t cut it; use open-ended questions that force the employee to provide more in-depth answers. That way you’ll have a better understanding of exactly what they’re unhappy about and how you can improve things. Here’s a few examples you could include:
• What does the business do well?
• What does the business need to do better in?
• What could the business have done to improve the situation that led to you handing in your notice?
Keep things professional
Whilst exit interviews give an employee the opportunity to voice their problems with a business, it’s important to conduct them professionally and legally. Don’t make things personal – avoid asking leading questions about specific people in the business. Make sure you follow the correct procedures if any issues of harassment or discrimination are raised, to cover yourself and also show the employee that you’re taking things seriously.
Giving employees who are leaving the business a chance to share their experiences is really important to help you avoid repeating the same mistakes. By offering exit interviews to anyone who hands in their notice, you’ll gain valuable feedback to make your business a great place to work and encourage loyalty from your employees. Reducing your turnover rates will cut down on recruitment costs and help your business to be more productive and efficient.