Exit Interviews: Should You Run Them?

As an employer, you will be seeing a fair share of employees start and end their employment with your business. The policies and procedures differ depending on whether the employee has been terminated or resigned voluntarily. If the employee has voluntarily decided to leave, exit interviews provide an excellent opportunity to receive honest feedback about your business. Read on to find out why exit interviews are a valuable resource that can be used to improve various aspects of your business. 

Benefits of Exit Interviews

Exit interviews are not mandatory. However, it is highly recommended to conduct one if the departing employee is comfortable and happy to give feedback. Exit interviews benefit not only the business but also the departing employee. The employee has the opportunity to talk about specific issues or experiences before moving into the next phase of their career. Some of the benefits include:

  • Find out what prompted the employee to leave the business.  
  • Learn how the business is doing overall and where it needs to improve in ensuring workers have job satisfaction and are productive.
  • Allow the employee to share any particular issues they have experienced during their time at the business 
  • Get an employee’s perspective about improving workplace policies and procedures
  • Give the employee an opportunity to alert the employer about any illegal or fraudulent activity in the business. 

Exit Interview Process 

Exit interviews tend to be informal one on one discussions between the departing employee and the employer. If the business is quite large, a member of the HR department might oversee the interview instead of the employer. 

The exit interview usually takes place on the last day and preferably in a quiet room free of distractions. The process should be kept casual and informal to ensure the employee is at ease and will provide feedback honestly. The exit interview can also be done using an exit interview form if face to face discussions are not possible. The exit interview form usually comprises of multiple-choice questions and a few short answer questions. 

Questions to Ask in an Exit Interview

You must ask the right questions during an exit interview as this is the last opportunity to have a meaningful discussion with the departing employee. In general, you should ask questions that would give you answers that can be used to improve particular aspects of the business. 

Some of the questions that can be asked include (but is not limited to):

  1. What were your favourite parts of working at this job?
  2. How was your working relationship with your coworkers? 
  3. What circumstances influenced you to leave your current position?
  4. Did you feel like you received enough training and support to perform your tasks efficiently and safely?
  5. What areas of this business do you think could be improved? 
  6. During your time here, did you think the management adequately recognised employee contributions? If not, what do you think the administration should have done to acknowledge your contributions?  
  7. Is there anything we could have done to retain you as an employee?
  8. Do you feel like your position description changed during the course of your employment? If so, how did it change? 
  9. Are there any particular concerns or feedback you would like to share before you leave?

It is essential that you end the interview on a positive note by thanking the departing employee for all their contribution to the business. 

Here’s a great checklist of things to do after an exit interview. 

To summarise, departing employees can give you valuable insight into the work environment of your business. Therefore, exit interviews can assist in identifying weaknesses and issues of the business that may not be that obvious from the employer’s perspective. It is vital that you analyse the feedback received and make necessary changes as this could improve retention rates and job satisfaction of your business. This would, in turn, help your business attract and retain high-calibre employees in the future. 

If you have any further questions about the termination of employment or require expert advice regarding any issues in the workplace, one of our employment lawyers would be happy to assist. 

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest lawyer marketplace.

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