Exit interviews are a vital process in any business. Finding out why staff leave can really help shape the future of your business by understanding the workforce and how you can support them.  
 
High employee turnover is costly. Not just the initial recruitment costs, but the time and money it takes to onboard new employees. On average it takes around 6 months to upskill a new employee, the duration of which they’re not working at full capacity which costs your business. So, it makes good business and financial sense to find and retain the right people for your business. 
 
What is an exit interview? 
People move on for many reasons, but often it’s because they’re not happy in their current employment. This is where exit interviews can help. The Oxford Dictionary defines an ‘exit interview’ as “an interview with an employee leaving their job, in order to find out why they are leaving or what their experience was like.” Utilised correctly, exit interviews can provide valuable insight into the day-to-day operations of your business and overall employee engagement. 
 
What can exit interview can reveal about your company? 
When you consider that we spend around 75% of our waking day at work (more time than with our families), you can appreciate the emotional commitment employees make when they choose to work for your company and how important employee engagement is to the success of your business. Conducting an exit interview with an employee leaving your company can help: 
• Understand why an employee is leaving your company 
• Identify issues with recruitment, onboarding and training strategies 
• Identify opportunities for management development and succession planning 
• Part on good terms with the employee 
• Provide relevant paperwork 
• If applicable, ask the employee if they’d reconsider leaving. 
 
How to conduct an exit interview. 
To conduct an exit interview correctly, you need to ensure that the questions are relevant to the employee’s role. It is also important to remain professional and avoid emotional responses - remember this is your opportunity to gain a ‘real’ insight into your business. 
Ask questions which focus on the positive experiences they’ve had working for your company: 
What did they enjoy most about their role? 
How would they describe the culture? 
Most importantly, listen to their feedback. 
 
What do with the feedback 
Next you need to collate, analyse and share the information you’ve collected; otherwise it’s a pointless exercise. Look for patterns in the data and identify solutions to help provide a better experience for current and future employees. For example; if you notice that a lot of employees are leaving your business because they felt the job was not what they expected, you may need to review your job descriptions and recruitment strategy. 
 
 
Do regular staff surveys as well as exit interviews 
Regularly review the information you’ve collected from exit interviews and share/identify areas of improvement across the business. Through a combination of regular reviews, staff attitude surveys, stay interviews, training opportunities, improved recruitment practice, better pay and benefits – you can retain the right people for your business and ensure long-term success. And show your employees that their overall wellbeing is important to them. Get them involved in trials, changes or improvements – when people feel part of a team, they feel valued and more likely to stay. 
 
If you need help contact Bina Briggs from Plain Talking HR – we are HR experts and can help you with any aspect of your HR. High employee turnover is costly.  
 
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