Despite not being a statutory requirement, exit interviews can be the key to understanding how to master staff retention and the strengths and weaknesses of individual parts of an organisation, therefore their importance can’t be undervalued.
These informal meetings are valuable opportunities for an employer to understand an employee’s justifications for leaving the business.
Departing members of staff who were successful within the organisation are valuable sources of information when analysing the structure of the business. Their comments may allow you to ascertain training points for weak areas and whether there are outlying issues that must be investigated and solved.
The assertions in this meeting may be able to shed light on how best to attract new talent based on the constructive aspects of the feedback. Understanding the attraction of the organisation to a member of staff is the key to advertising and promoting job roles going forward.
The employee benefit in conducting exit interviews lies in the ability to end the relationship in an amicable fashion. This can be positive from both the perspective of receiving a beneficial reference and in relation to maintaining a strong professional network.
How to Conduct the Exit Interview
Exit interviews are naturally conducted toward the end of an Employee’s tenure within an organisation. Provision for these meetings can be put within the employment contract or in their acceptance of resignation.
For these meetings to be worth the investment of time, they should be conducted by a member of staff who isn’t a direct report for the departing member of staff. While this may help the member of staff feel comfortable and able to speak freely about any concerns they have, it also prevents any unnecessary friction being caused between staff members.
As an employer, you should explain why you are conducting the interview and what the purpose of collating their responses is. It is important to note that the staff member should be reassured that they can be constructive in their feedback and any feedback will be anonymous.
Exit interviews are a valuable tool to understand how to improve the organisation and attract new talent. It is important to find an appropriate member of staff to conduct these meetings to gain the most from them.
Having exit interviews placed as a termination requirement in the terms and conditions of a contract would be a useful vehicle to implement these consistently across the organisation.