Strategic Exit Interviews

How HR Can Apply Learnings from an Exit Interview

LaborSoft shows how properly conducted exit interviews can provide valuable information that can help you prevent talent loss and improve employee retention.

How to Apply Learnings from an Exit Interview

shutterstock_561824056While exit interviews have become a requisite part of the employee offboarding process, they should be viewed more as a valuable opportunity for HR managers to glean key information as to the reasons that employees leave their positions.  It is common to feel a sense of disappointment and/or possible anxiety about an employee leaving the organization (if he/she is doing so voluntarily), however if HR managers shift their perspective a bit, this forum can be welcomed and even hopeful if learnings are considered and applied when looking toward the company’s future. 


Control the Tone and Purpose

Exit interview questions shouldn’t contain obvious or arbitrary questions—questions need to be deliberately written/planned out and thought-provoking enough to tie into and examine the corporate mission and vision of the company.  They should also go beyond summarizing the reasons that the employee gave when he/she resigned, and shouldn’t just become a venting session for the employee to rehash his/her grievances


Also, exit interviews are more productive when conducted more like a dialogue or discussion, and less of a Q&A.  This allows them to be viewed as an opportunity on both sides to give and receive honest feedback; if the departing employee feels that he/she is on the witness stand, he/she is more inclined to be apprehensive and may withhold his/her real feelings.  So, for this forum to be effective and a viable source of employee morale and sentiment, the possibility is there for genuine areas of improvement to be revealed to the HR manager who is conducting the interview.


Correlate the Data, Consider and Collaborate 

When HR managers record the information collected from an exit interview, type it up, and simply file it, it serves no purpose whatsoever.  Instead, the raw data collected needs to be viewed as valuable insight and should be correlated back to other employee data and profiles to determine trends about the particular employee and his/her lifecycle with the company.  Important points of data to consider could include the employee’s date of hire, performance reviews, salary and merit raise history, rate of absenteeism, etc.


Once correlated, it can be entered into a program like Excel, where the data can be logged in a spreadsheet and populated into pivot tables.  Finally, this data should be passed along to the involved departments or shared with employees mentioned during the interview. This way, the information can be compared against the company’s attrition data and can later be applied to potentially improve retention by measuring the effectiveness of the company’s overall human capital strategy, specifically related to recruiting, onboarding/training, performance tracking, etc.


Most importantly, the key to applying learnings from exit interviews is to weed out the mere reasons that employees give in exit interviews for leaving and instead examine and focus on the pivotal areas of improvement that employees reveal in order to retain top talent and maximize employee engagement in the future.


LaborSoft’s innovative technology is one of many integral solutions that keep your business, in business. Our employee relations analytics, case management workflows, and our central repository of documentation streamlines case management to mitigate risk of operational bottlenecks, costly lawsuits, and legal ramifications stemming from HR issues and complaints. This sensitive data requires that maximum security protocols are in place and that your information is protected at all times.

Contact us for a customized demonstration and learn how LaborSoft can help you improve communications, build a more collaborative, safe, and supportive workplace, while reducing the likelihood of costly litigation.  Learn the Art of Exit Interviews from our experts here.

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