Employees handing in their notice is part and parcel of running a business.
Whether it’s due to personal circumstances or more specific to your business itself, there’s usually a logical reason why.
However, a lot of businesses don’t carry out exit interviews, which is surprising when the average UK staff turnover rate is over 75% in the first year of employment in London.
And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve put together a handful of extra reasons why your business should seriously start considering them.
As an employee, it’s sometimes hard to share how they really feel due to fear of getting disciplined, anxiety issues or the fact that they don’t want to cause problems.
An exit interview gives these employees an opportunity to voice their true opinions, without holding back. As a result, you’ll gather vital information on what’s working in your business and what isn’t.
And the best part of all, it’s free!
For top results, you should always let the employee know before the exit interview that their opinions won’t impact whether you give them a reference or not. After all, this advice will positively benefit your business.
Get a firmer grasp on your staff
As a business owner or manager, you can sometimes forget to communicate with staff and take a step back to look at the company as a whole.
Hiring the wrong people to complete a certain senior job can also lead to a higher staff turnover. In fact, according to one study, 42% of employees blame poor management for their reason for leaving.
While you should always take an employee’s opinion with a pinch of salt, it’s always useful to hear this kind of information. You might start to take notice and monitor the culture and personnel a little more intently.
Reduce staff turnover rates
Research carried out by the Employee Engagement Series by Kronos found that 95% of HR managers believe employee burnout is the key reason for up to half of their yearly workforce turnover.
So it’s worth thinking about whether your business is giving your employees the recognition, benefits and the challenges they require to keep them individually stimulated.
If your team are overworked, you should consider hiring someone else in to help with the workload. Or if that isn’t feasible, make sure you reward the hard-workers with a trip out or a bottle of bubbly. The simple things go a long way.
You can get more inspiration on this by reading our previous blog: ‘The 10 Best Employee Incentive Ideas’.
Exit interviews can give you a real insight into the work culture and whether there’s a systematic problem you need to address.
Finding a correlation between departing employees is a great way to establish whether there’s a pattern or not.
For instance, if you find a lot of employees are leaving because they aren’t getting paid enough, you know exactly what to address.
Or if they say that they aren’t being challenged enough, you can start offering incentives to current employees to solve this. (It will probably help improve your productivity rates too!)
Store the information given in an exit interview and put together an Excel spreadsheet to help summarise it all.
The best way to carry out an exit interview
Now you know why you should conduct an exit interview, it’s time to make sure you do it right.
Firstly, planning is key to this process.
For starters, always ensure you give the departing employee enough time to prepare for the interview. Simply pulling them in won’t give them enough time to thoroughly gather their thoughts and provide you with the honest answers you desire.
Remember, you should always do an exit interview in private, face-to-face and in a professional manner.
However, try to keep them natural and relaxed when possible.
It’s also worth having a list of questions to ask so you can successfully monitor a correlation going forward and action some of the suggestions.
Here are a few examples to get you started:
- Did you feel valued and rewarded for your job by your manager?
- What did you enjoy the most about working for us?
- Would you consider returning to our business? If so, what would have to change?
- Have you got any top tips on how to improve employee satisfaction?
- Do you think that your day-to-day job was the same as first advertised in the job description? If not, what’s changed?
Once you’ve finished the exit interview, always share the appropriate (not confidential) stuff with senior staff.
This will then give all the decision makers a firm grasp on what needs to change going forward and make sure that they’re all on the same page.
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