Exit interviews are an important opportunity for businesses to capitalize on if they want to learn as much as possible about problems within the organization and determine what they can do to better serve the needs of employees and customers. They are also a great chance for your business to transfer knowledge of protocols and operating procedures from exiting employees to new hires. Unfortunately, because of the potential for bias and the difficulty involved in receiving criticism, many companies ignore or greatly neglect their exit interview process. Here are some steps on how your business can properly conduct this process according to material from a masters in human resources degree program:
Use Them to Find Your Faults
According to Beth N. Carvin at Human Resource Executive Online, an exit interview can be ideal for finding out all types of problems within your company, including:
- · Bottlenecks within the operations process that cause slowdowns to productivity
- · Issues with sexual harassment, violence, or racism in the workplace
- · Determine how successful initiatives for diversity and workplace harmony are
While these can be difficult to hear, an employee that is leaving the company will often be more prone to share negative elements of your organization than those currently employed there. When you hear these faults, be certain that you interpret them fairly and reasonably without letting emotion cloud your judgment. By listening to and analyzing what a soon-to-be former employee has to say, you can begin taking steps to repair these faults.
Learn About Why Employees Leave
Some businesses forget about the important task of determining why their staff members choose to move on and seek employment elsewhere. Brooks C. Holtom, a specialist in organizational behavior and HR management at the Georgetown University School of Business, says that even at small firms, employers that feel like they understand why a certain employee left may often make assumptions that are biased towards the company. Knowing why employees leave can help you prevent high performers from departing in the future so that you can maintain a workplace that is pleasing to a productive, efficient staff.
Create a Formal Policyfor Exit Interviews
One of the most important steps for ensuring that your exit interviews are helpful and productive is to create a policy that can be applied to everyone with whom you conduct an exit interview. Think about whether you would prefer to conduct these interviews over the phone, in person, or in paper. Each method offers its advantages and disadvantages: paper interviews are less likely to be completed thoroughly, but they may provide more honest opinions than an in-person interview. On the other hand, sitting down face-to-face with someone can give you the opportunity to read their expressions and the way that they communicate with their body. Whatever decisions you make regarding your policy, be certain that you stick to it and make it the rule for every employee who decides to leave.
Attempt to Retain High-Value Staff
Businessballs.com states that many companies accept resignations far too quickly without trying to see how firm an employee is about their intention to leave. During an exit interview with an employee that your business does not want to lose, you can see if there are ways you can reasonably resolve the problems and challenges that make them want to leave. In this way, exit interviews will allow you to learn a valuable lesson about how to improve your workplace culture without having to suffer the consequences of a very productive staff member leaving the firm. If you do not find out what problems an employee who wants to quit is facing, you will never know whether or not you could have resolved the problems and come to an agreement that would have allowed you to keep an important member of your team.
Dealing with exiting employees can be tricky business. Many organizations would prefer to quickly move on rather than attempt to repair a relationship with an employee intending on leaving, even if that employee holds value for the business. Follow these guidelines and your business can identify problems within the organization and get a final chance to retain a contributing member of the team.
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