exit interviews

Why and How to Use Exit Interviews

Why and How to Use Exit Interviews 1200 628 HR-ON

Why and How to Use Exit Interviews

When the time comes to say goodbye to a colleague, your role as an HR employee is incredibly crucial. Even though a farewell means managing tasks such as setting up times and days for the offboarding process, ensuring IT devices get handed in, and buying a goodbye gift, the exit interview should be high on your to-do list.

The offboarding process contains many steps. As it may be difficult to let an employee go, HR has a golden opportunity to use this farewell beneficially with the exit interview. The interview can give you relevant feedback that can help improve your organization.  

The leaving employee can give essential feedback about the working culture, workflow, teamwork, etc. Why not take the time to listen, note down the feedback, and use it afterward?

You may notice that when employees are leaving and seeking new work adventures, they are more open to pointing out what worked and didn’t work for them. The reason for more openness can be that the employees are leaving the organization – they aren’t coming back and can, therefore, easier point out the good, the bad, and everything in between they have experienced during their time at the organization. 

But what are you so supposed to do with the feedback? And what questions should you ask the employee? We’ll cover all these questions in this blog post.

“Why Are You Leaving?”

In general, there are some questions that you can ask every leaving employee. Depending on the employee, their job position, and which type of exit interview you have planned, you can add questions fitted to precisely that one employee.

When considering general questions, think about questions that everybody can answer. Then think about the more specific question about the employee’s job or department. Remember that your questions aren’t set in stone and can always be changed. 

Perhaps the exit interview’s most used “ice breaker” is the question: “Why are you leaving us?” The feedback you get from the employee is very relevant to you and the organization’s growth and development. It becomes clear if the employee just wants to seek new challenges or if there have been difficulties with teamwork, poor communication with the manager, a lack of tasks, etc.

What Questions to Ask in an Exit Interview?

Exit interviews may be uncomfortable – ensure it’s not the case at your organization. Creating a safe environment and informing employees of the interview’s function can make the process easier. Benign open, and transparent are key. 

Here is a list of some questions that you can use:

  • How has the teamwork been between you and your manager?
  • How has the collaboration been with your colleagues and teams?
  • In which areas do you think your new job is more exciting and challenging than your job here? 
  • What can we do better as an organization? 
  • What should and could we have done to prevent your departure?
  • Do you think you’ll join us again in the future? 
  • Have there been tasks where you didn’t feel motivated to solve them?

How to Round Off the Exit Interview

Besides thanking the employee and wishing them the best of luck, round off the exit interview by asking the employees about the different tasks they managed during their time at the organization. Doing so lets you know more precisely how to formulate the job advert. 

The job advert gets more precise, and you can formulate a spot-on task description, so your future employee knows precisely what to expect from the job. 

The exit interview is part of the offboarding process. Want to know more about offboarding? Read our blog post and get an offboarding checklist right here.