The best way to get unbiased feedback on the work environment and the overall business system is by interviewing departing employees. Their answers are no longer influenced by the desire to keep their jobs, so they have no intentions to lie or withhold any valuable information. You can only have access to this knowledge and opinion by asking the right exit interview questions.
Exit interview questions serve as a tool for assessing the management and operations of your company, which makes it easier to implement strategies that’ll reduce employee turnover. You can use the collated feedback to create a work environment that is safe and comfortable for employees.
There are two primary ways companies conduct exit interviews: via questionnaire and face-to-face. Regardless of the method chosen, you must assure the employees of confidentiality so that they will give honest responses.
This question is the first step in ascertaining why the employee is leaving your company. While many employers assume that employees are leaving for another job, they may have other reasons.
For example, if the employee says they are leaving for personal reasons (e.g., family demands, loss of a loved one, etc.), you can offer them an extended leave. That way, when they have fixed their problem, they can come back to work.
Although this question is similar to the first one, they are different. This question sets the tone for the conversation once you know that your employee is leaving for a new job. It lets you know the opportunities and benefits you should have to attract and retain top talent.
For example, when exiting employees mention work-life balance, you will know it's time to introduce flexible work schedules for current and future employees.
Questions like this help you get proactive responses from your departing employees. With the answer to this question, you will know how to empower the next person to work efficiently.
For example, if a lack of necessary tools is the most popular answer among departing employees, the company can get these materials available for the next employees.
You should ask your departing employees this question, especially if you have a low retention rate. Their answer will give you an insight into your recruitment process. If the answer is “no,” ask a follow-up question to know why.
For example, a leaving employee may have an unfavorable view about the job because the job description painted a different picture. Make sure you give your recruitment team the feedback.
The primary duty of a manager is to ensure that their team members are empowered to do their work. So, you can find out whether the manager has done their part right or not by asking this question.
A negative response will mean that the manager has to be addressed about their responsibility. On the other hand, a positive response indicates that the manager’s leading method is suitable and can be used as an example for other managers to learn from.
Asking this question to know what departing employees think the organization lacks. Since this question is broad, expect to get a wide range of answers that may include compensation, work-life balance, management, etc. Whatever their response is, ask them to explain further so you can get a clear view of the possible reason why they are leaving.
For example, if the employee’s answer is leadership, ask them what part of it they think needs improvement. They may be seeking better communication from company leadership, or they may want the management team to listen to employee feedback.
While offboarding employees may want you to change many things about the company, there are other things they don’t want you to change. Asking this question will encourage them to tell you what those things are.
For example, if departing employees tell you they enjoyed the snacks and drinks stocked in the fridge, you should continue doing that.
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