Increasing Employee Retention Through Employee
Employee exit interviews are an important part of HR management
and monitoring employee retention and satisfaction. Just as it is
important to hold a sales interview to find out why you did not
get an account, it is important to understand why an employee leaves
and what information you can use to avoid future employee losses.
Avoidable losses result from employee job dissatisfaction,
poor management practices, the lack of advancement opportunity,
and sometimes personal harassment by or conflict with a co-worker
or manager. A recent employee retention survey suggests that nearly
70% of employees leave their jobs because they do not feel valued!
Another purpose is to help employers avoid litigation
down the road, caused by illegal activities or by "disgruntled"
Employee exit interviews can change the climate
of the organization by changing management style, making changes
that reflect employee opinions, and creating value recognition programs
where needed. One key to increasing the employees opinion
of the organization is in the management of expectations. Realistic
job expectations are important and management should focus on creation
of proper expectations.
Employee exit interviews provide a window to view
and benchmark employee expectations regarding:
· Job responsibilities and performance
· Employee job orientation and training
· Mentoring programs
· Working conditions
· Opportunities for skill development career advancement
· Training and development programs
· Supervision and Management
· Work Satisfaction
· Workload Distribution and Schedule Flexibility
· Organizational Culture
· Organizational and Work Group Communication
Employee exit interviews should focus on retention
by identifying the reason the employee is leaving and also determine
if the companys level of performance or the employees
unfulfilled expectations are at issue. Just as consumer retention
views fulfillment from products or services as delightful
or as a failure, employment environments similarly delight
Failing environments with low levels of employee
retention reflect low levels of job satisfaction and come at a great
cost to the organization. Not only is it expensive to hire and then
train new employees, but can have a negative impact on productivity
Goals for Exit Interviews
Employee exit interviews can result in measurable
retention and performance increases for the employees and for the
business in general. Specifically, effective employee exit interviews
are an opportunity to diagnose and improve performance within the
- Improve employee retention and reduce
- Increase company objectivity by having
employee exit interviews handled by a fair and non-partisan third-party.
- Benchmark against industry and company
norms for the exit interview survey items.
- Compare exit interview scores against
overall the Employee Satisfaction Tracking Survey to determine
if employee satisfaction impacts turnover.
- Track trends in employee exit interview
satisfaction to measure improvements made.
Structure of Exit Interviews
Exit interviews are generally completed by about
1/3 of employees who leave an organization. Because this is a small
percent of actual employees, this number should be doubled through
multi-mode approaches: paper and pencil, online and telephone interviews.
Online interviews are particularly valuable because respondents
tend to be frank in their evaluations and will provide anecdotal
experiences related to their previous employment.
Increasing Response Rates for Employee Exit Interviews
Employees who leave your organization are generally willing to provide
feedback. However, where termination is due to employee deficiency
or cutbacks, the employee may fear, be dismayed, or even be angry
at the company. To obtain useful information in this type of situation
requires special care. It is useful to identify why employees sometimes
choose not to participate or complete exit interviews.
- Face to face exit interviews are uncomfortable
for the employee.
- Psychologically the person may not want
they may be in denial or want to leave this
chapter in their lives behind.
- The exit interview may be too long, detailed
or contains requests for unimportant information.
- The exit interview questions may be confusing
or personally invasive.
- Employees dont believe that the
company will value the exit interview information provided.
- Employees are afraid of repercussions
from information provided or statements made.
- Employees are angry with the company,
the employment situation, management or co-workers.
- Employees forget to complete the interview
or lose the interview form.
Given a 5-10 minute time window and that about
7 multiple choice questions can be answered per minute, 35-50 questions
is the maximum. Text input questions take longer and will decrease
the number of multiple choice questions (trade 1 text question for
3-5 multiple choice questions).
For all of the reasons discussed above, keep employee
exit interview questions simple and short, focusing on evaluations
of different job components (effectiveness of) and identification
of needed changes. Questions about feelings and emotions are particularly
difficult, especially if the employee has been terminated from the
Including Former Employees in the Exit Interview
Angry employees who are angry or feel they have
been treated unfairly have the greatest potential to damage the
company. However, these same employees also place great value on
the opportunity to have their say and provide feedback to someone
who might listen to their side of the story.
Tell employees leaving the company that their
feedback will be evaluated by the director of HR and that their
comments and evaluations are important. If the employee makes suggestions,
it is appropriate to send a letter thanking them for their honesty
and to report on the value and implementations that are to be made
based on their recommendations. No doubt, the employee still has
friends at the company who may learn of the communication and the
value the company places on suggestions for improving the workplace.
Build Your Exit Interview Process to Increase
The employee exit interview process within your organization can
be structured to maximize the quantity (response rates) and quality
of feedback. Begin with an audit of your exit interview process
to determine how employee exit interviews are conducted.
- How is HR notified that an employee exit
interview needs to take place?
- How soon after the notice is received
does the interview need to take place?
- Who is responsible for initiating and
conducting the exit interview?
- How is the employee notified of the exit
- When does the employee receive notification
of the need for an exit interview?
- What is the employee told about the exit
- Is the interview process unbiased and
free of repercussions?
- What encouragements are used to secure
employee cooperation for the exit interview?
- When and where will the employee complete
the exit interview?
- Is there easy access the exit interview
- Does the employee have privacy when completing
the exit interview?
- Does the employee have the choice of
completing the interview at work or at home?
- Is the exit interview easy to complete?
- Are supervisors and managers supportive
of the exit interview process?
- Are supervisors and managers fearful
about receiving negative feedback from employees?
- Is it easy for employees to submit their
Post Employee Exit Interview Followup:
Job Comparison Questionnaire
Approximately three months after the completion
of the employee exit interview survey, consider sending a Job
Comparison Questionnaire that contains questions related to
current employment status, and asks for a comparison of their new
and previous job with your organization.
Trial an Australian-built
exit interview survey tool:
PeoplePulse is an Australian built online feedback
and survey tool used extensively by Australian and New Zealand based
organisations to discover the real drivers and motivations of your
workforce. The tool can also be used by HR to conduct cost effective
exit interview surveys, staff climate surveys, training needs analysis
surveys, and 'new starter' feedback surveys to name a few popular
complete the form below to arrange your FREE custom-branded
exit interview demonstration and a PeoplePulse pricing and
the form below, a PeoplePulse representative will contact
you to discuss your needs and current situation. From there
we will set up your demo and arrange a suitable time to show
the system to you:
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