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Why have exit interviews?

March 30, 2011 - Tags: Employers

Shutterstock 73234513Employee turnover is something all businesses deal with, and it can be costly. Implementing exit interviews into your employee departure process can allow you to understand your business from the employees' point of view and identify potential areas for improvement within your organization.

While the concept of allowing a departing employee to judge your workplace may seem a little unsettling, it can actually prove quite beneficial, especially when done with employees who are leaving voluntarily. Employees who are leaving involuntarily may not be as objective as those who have made the choice to go.

Benefits of an exit interview:

  • Find out what others see as your organization's strengths
  • Identify shortcomings or areas needing improvement
  • Verify attributes, skills and experience necessary for the position
  • Get insight into the reasoning behind an employee's departure
  • Help foster a positive outlook for current employees by showing them that your organization is open to constructive criticism
  • Get information to help correct a critical issue and perhaps retain a valuable employee through its resolution

Providing an exit interview for your departing employees is a great way to gain valuable insights that may help in the training of new employees or successors. This information can also give you the upper hand when interviewing potential employees, defining roles or conducting a SWOT analysis.

Things to consider when doing exit interviews:

  • Exit interviews can be held as a private, face-to-face meeting or a survey that the departing employee completes
  • Interviews should be open to all departing employees, but must be voluntary
  • Keep in mind, this is not an evaluation of the departing employee's performance or an opportunity for the departing employee to devalue individuals who are part of the business
  • Be open, you don't need to defend the business based on the departing employee's remarks
  • Information provided by the departing employee, whether positive or negative, should not affect the employee's reference
  • Attempt to part on good terms with the employee

For more information on departing employees and exit interviews, visit our Departing Employees page.

Comments

Should the interview be done by human resources or by a third party ?

By Raguvaran on April 16, 2012

Hello Raguvaran,

The decision is entirely up to you and could depend on the size of your business and how formal you want the exit interview to be. Generally, if your business is large enough, a representative from the human resources department would hold the interview. If not, the departing employee’s supervisor may choose to do it. For more on exit interviews, take a look at this information from Service Canada.

All the best.

By Canada Business on April 19, 2012

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