Typically, exit interviews go one of two ways. Cautious employees don’t want to burn bridges and are reluctant to reveal useful information. Or disgruntled employees take the opportunity to unload any perceived slight they suffered during their tenure. If handled correctly, and departing employees are encouraged to share honestly, there is much to be learned from exit interviews.
Find out why they started looking in the first place. Candidates will give a variety of answers as to why they are leaving your company. From better opportunities, shorter commutes, more money – there are plenty of factors that can lure someone to another employer. But why? What made them reach out to their network, peruse job boards, or take that call from a recruiter?
Some level of dissatisfaction – some area in which they were unhappy – opened them to the possibility of moving on. It’s up to you to pinpoint what it was.
Identify trends and patterns in turnover. A single exit interview or two may not reveal much, but look for patterns in where and when people are leaving. Is there an exodus from a certain department? Does it coincide with the introduction of a new manager or policies? Could bad press or a deteriorating reputation in the community cause your people to lose confidence in their job security?
Improve training. Are you investing in your people? Exit interviews may reveal that your people are bored or feel that they have reached a dead end. Identifying and nurturing people with potential can ensure that the best people move up through your ranks, rather than jumping ship for a chance at advancement.
Identify effective or ineffective managers. Feedback on your management team can help you to spot bad apples before you lose too many people. Conversely, the best managers should be recognized and rewarded. Most exiting employees should be able to put aside personal feelings to honestly assess the managers that they work with in the interest of improving the company.
Increase retention. Determining the factors that cause people to leave can help you to hold onto more people. It could mean starting a training or management development program, cutting loose bad managers or improving communication.
Improve engagement. Engaged employees are less likely to stray. Provide forums for your people to share their thoughts and concerns. Be more transparent regarding company plans or challenges. Take employee input seriously and look for ways to implement (and give them credit for) great ideas.
Need to learn more about improving your management strategies, hiring for retention and finding talent? The staffing professionals at Malone can help. Contact us today to get started.