Exit interview questions

Peninsula Team

May 15 2019

When an employee leaves your business, you shouldn’t treat the experience as a negative one. You can learn from their departure to make your business a better place to work—that’s where an exit interview works.

Our guide explains how to go about that. You can do it with a specific set of questions for your wrap-up meeting—here’s what you can ask.

Do you need exit interview questionnaires?

No, it’s not essential to have an exit survey (as this process is also called). It’s up to your business how you manage your employee departures and you can skip the process entirely.

But remember that you can gain useful insights into your business if you provide them to staff members about to leave your business.

So you should think of some relevant exit interview questions to ask. This is because departing members of your team can reveal important information about their overall experience with your business.

Some of the details may be hard-hitting, but in the long-term it offers you a chance to provide a better working environment.

And that can help with employee retention rates.

Keep in mind, too, that you can use employee engagement surveys to receive additional feedback from the rest of your workforce.

What should you ask?

There aren’t right or wrong questions to ask, but you should keep in mind how you’d like to keep talented employees in your business.

If you know the right things to say in an exit interview, with the details you gain you can advance your company culture to better standards.

Although HR does the job of understanding what’s going on in a business, it can be difficult to keep track of individual issues that employees may have.

As such, when a member of your team hands in a resignation letter, it’s a good idea to dig a little deeper to find out why.

Typical exit interview questions aim to do that. They pry a little deeper into your staff member’s reasoning to understand what it is that’s led to their departure.

Exit interview questions for employers

Again, there’s no exact art to this process. So consider your business’ needs and what would benefit you in the long-term.

You can draft up an exit interview questions template to help you—it can become business standard to distribute it when an employee leaves.

Typically, a manager will have the questions printed out and will sit with the member of staff in a meeting. Either the manager or the employee can fill out the form, but the more detail you receive the better.

Remember that good exit interview questions will provide you with something of value for your business. You’ll learn something new to get an impression of what your staff really thinks on a day to day basis.

Exit interview questionnaire template

To help you choose the best exit interview questions, you can refer to the list below.

  • What made you start looking for a new role?
  • What does your new role offer that this one didn’t?
  • Did you have the equipment to do your job correctly?
  • Name one thing that would have helped you to stay?
  • What else could we have done better?
  • Did you have a good experience with your line manager?
  • Can you tell us about the best part of your job?
  • Can you describe some qualities you think we should look for in your replacement?
  • Were you happy with our company culture?
  • What could we have done to help you stay?
  • Would you want to return to our business in the future?
  • Would you recommend working for the business to someone?

Those are the standard exit interview questions for managers to follow.

With the answers you receive, you can look into how you can improve the working experience for staff.

You may find that some employees are moving for harmless reasons, such as wanting to cut down on commuting times, to be closer to their family, or simply as they’re advancing their career with a step up to management.

However, you may receive more negative feedback. That could relate to a lack of wage progression, excessively bureaucratic policies, not paying for over time, or a lack of work-life balance.

And once you receive such feedback, you can look to see if you can improve on the situation to make your business more desirable for top talent.

If an employee raises something of a particular concern you should ask them if they want to raise an official grievance. This could go in your favour should they raise ay constructive unfair dismissal claims.

Also, even if they choose not to raise an official grievance you may choose to look into the matter and complete your investigation into any perceived issues.

The benefits of staff exit interview questions

By using the right ideas, you’ll gain an overview of what employees think of your business.

And if you follow the exit survey best practices of asking the right questions, you can expect to:

  • Cut turnover costs: Find out why an employee is leaving. If it’s due to a negative workplace experience, you can look to rectify that and improve the experience for the rest of your workforce.
  • Improve your hiring process: Recruitment is hard work for any business, but if you have insights on how to improve your company culture and perks then it’s a great way to improve what you have to offer.
  • Gain closure over why each staff member is leaving: If a talented member of staff leaves, it can be difficult for you to understand why. You can, at least, take heart in understanding why from this process.
  • Block potential legal issues developing: Depending on your industry, you may want to stop employees from spreading trade secrets or business information. With an exit survey, you have the chance to arrange all legal issues beforehand. You can also remind staff members of their legal responsibilities.

Need any help?

We’ll help you perfect your exit survey—asks the right questions for essential insights on your processes. Call us today: 0800 028 2420.

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