Employee turnover is an inevitable evil in any industry. Even amid high unemployment, skilled labor can prove scarce. Reducing turnover in your workforce can save you the time, expense and headache of replacing your employees.

When turnover does happen, exit interviews are one of the most effective means of soliciting feedback from employees voluntarily leaving your organization, and should be used whenever feasible to improve your company’s retention strategy.

Gathering Useful Data

It’s important to approach an exit interview with the sole intention of learning what could keep future employees from leaving. This is not the time to counter offer or reproach. Keep the conversation friendly and focused on gathering useful data. Ask questions about areas like:

  • How effective or clearly your organization communicates to employees.
  • The level of morale or overall job satisfaction experienced by employees.
  • What opportunities employees are leaving to pursue.
  • What driving factor is causing employees to leave.
  • Improvements employees felt could have been made to prevent them from leaving.

This list is not exhaustive, but can help you get started developing a thoughtful exit survey template that meets your specific needs and challenges.

Communicating Results

Gathering data from exit interviews is the first step toward enhanced retention, but next, leadership must communicate the results to managers and develop an action plan. Exit interview results can help identify areas of improvement in specific departments, processes or, perhaps, with certain managers. When such cases come to light, those issues should be addressed and corrected by senior leadership.

Exit interviews may also uncover perceptions of the company’s culture, benefits packages, or other policies and procedures. Understanding the impact those perceptions may have on turnover can spur positive change, but only if communicated to leadership and acted on.

Exit interviews give managers and leaders unique insight and direct, powerful information as to why they are losing employees. They serve as a critical tool in any company’s retention strategy.