Exit Interviews – Do You Know Why Your Talent is Leaving?
Employee turnover is more than just a hassle — it’s incredibly pricey. It costs between 30 percent and 50 percent of an entry-level employee’s annual salary to replace them, rising to 150 percent for mid-level workers, and an overwhelming 400 percent for executives. If you’ve noticed a steady stream of talent walking out your door, it’s important to find out what’s causing people to leave. Exit interviews provide a unique opportunity to receive candid feedback on your company from someone who’s lived it. Learn how to conduct an effective exit interview before the person severs ties with your organization.
Don’t let the person’s direct manager conduct the exit interview.
A recent Gallup survey revealed that half of all U.S. employees have quit their jobs at some point in their career, because they couldn’t stand their boss. If a person has decided to leave your company to get away from their manager, there’s a good chance they’re not going to feel comfortable divulging this information directly to the person. No one can be expected to critique their supervisor and the position itself if they’re not talking to a third party. If you have a dedicated HR rep, have them conduct the interview — otherwise, ask another managerial-level employee who can remain partial to do it.
Assure the employee their responses are confidential.
Honesty is key in exit interviews, because you can’t make meaningful changes if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Many employees will be hesitant to give the brutal truth, because they don’t want to burn bridges or risk offending anyone. Combat this by starting the exit interview off with an assurance that all of their responses will be kept anonymous. Explain that you rely on exit interviews to collect valuable information to make changes for the better. Most people will be more than happy to help, as long as they know you’re not going to attach their name to their statements.
Focus on the company.
You might want to ask the person a few questions specific to their position, but in general, it’s best to keep your emphasis on the company as a whole. Questions will vary according to the person’s job title and rank, but it’s smart to ask a number of standard inquiries to everyone so you can look for common responses. Some inquires you may want to make include, “Why are you leaving?” “What did you like most about working here?” and “Where could we use to make improvements?” Give employees the chance to share their thoughts and opinions, so you can gain a better understanding of why they decided to leave.
Use the information to make your company better.
Now that you have all of this valuable information, it’s important to use it! Take the time to thoroughly analyze all responses and identify patterns. Make the necessary changes as soon as possible, to avoid losing any other valuable team members for the same reasons.