The Exit Interview


Free Article: Why A Centralised Exit Interview Survey Procedure Works

Human resource (HR) departments typically conduct exit interviews to gather information from departing employees to help the company improve working conditions, retain existing employees and identify problem areas within the organisation. One of the great aspects of exit interviews is that the departing employee often feels less concerned about the ramifications of 'treading on toes' and hence is typically willing to provide extremely open and honest feedback about their experience at your company.

In short, exit interviews are an extremely important tactic for any organisation serious about retaining their staff, raising the skill levels of Management and improving the general working conditions within the company.

Exit Interview image

However, whilst exit interviews clearly have their place, there are many pitfalls to avoid. Some of the key challenges that companies face in conducting exit interviews include:

1. Interviewer bias: The person charged with asking the questions may not be 100% impartial or may have negative preconceived notions about the departing employee.

2. Interpretation: Often, the departing employee says 'X', yet the interviewer will write down 'Y'. They hear what they want to hear.

3. Data entry: Often the person responsible for interviewing the departing employee is at Management level, and places a low priority on data entering the results of the exit interview into a centralised system that authorised Managers can access.

4. Reporting: As notes are hand written, there is not one central place where all exit interview data is stored. The data also needs to be held on secured servers (as the information is often sensitive) and only people with appropriate privileges able to access the results.

5. Consistency: Without a standard exit interview form, the questions asked and information collected can vary wildly.

6. Confronting: The departing employee can sometimes feel as if it's too confronting to provide open and honest feedback face-to-face - especially if the interviewer is personally known to the employee.

7. Timing: If the departing employee leaves the organisation suddenly, often the task of conducting the exit interview is overlooked. However, the departing employee will still have valuable information and feedback to contribute.

So, what can be done to help minimise these pitfalls?

Enter the centralised Exit Interview process.

Today many companies are turning towards a centralised online exit interview process. In simple terms, once an employee leaves (or in the final weeks of their tenure) the following steps occur:

1. HR is notified of the departing employee's name / last day.

2. HR e-mail the departing employee an online exit interview form, and ask that they complete it at a time that suits them over the next 1-2 weeks. The survey form is pre-coded with the employee's name, their Manager's name, and their location so that HR can easily report and filter results by this information.

3. As soon as the survey has been completed, HR is notified by e-mail, AND, the survey results are automatically entered into an online database where reports can be run.

4. (Optional) HR can then invite the Manager or the 'Next Up' Manager to review the feedback and add any further comments.

5. HR then run date-defined reports to review cumulative results, spot trends, and measure the change in ratings over time for the whole company, or broken down by department or location.

When we map this process against the traditional problem areas of exit interviews highlighted above, we find it addresses many of the issues faced:

1. Interviewer bias: Problem Removed - the interview is in the form of an online survey.

2. Interpretation errors: Problem Removed - what the departing employee types is what HR report on.

3. Data entry: Problem Removed - the online survey stores the exact data and ratings typed by the departing employee.

4. Reporting access: Problem Removed - anyone given authorisation can access the results from any web browser in the World, at any time.

5. Consistency: Problem Removed - the exit interview form is the same for all people.

6. Confronting: Problem Removed - the departing employee can complete the survey in their own time, at their own pace, without feeling like they need to sugar coat the tone or nature of their comments.

7. Quick Departures: Problem Removed - if an employee departs suddenly, the survey can still easily be sent and administered remotely in the days following the departure.

In short, a well constructed exit interview process helps to improve employee retention and reduce employee turnover, and should be a mandatory consideration for any employer serious about improving employee satisfaction levels.

Interested in trialling an Australian-built online exit interview tool?

PeoplePulse is an Australian built online feedback and survey tool used extensively by Australian and New Zealand based organisations to conduct online exit interviews, climate surveys, and training needs analysis surveys, to name a few popular uses.

Please complete the form below to arrange your FREE demonstration and to receive a PeoplePulse pricing and information sheet.

Upon completing the form below, Quinntessential will contact you to better understand your needs and unique situation. From there we will arrange a suitable time to demonstrate the system with you.

Exit Interview Tool - image

Please be assured that your correspondence with us is confidential. We will not divulge email addresses or any other details you provide to outside sources.

The above demonstration request form was powered by PeoplePulse.

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