Here are some of the best exit interview questions you can ask a leaving employee—or else rework them to suit your own needs.
Conducting exit interviews is a productive way for a business to reflect on what it’s doing well and what can be improved.
Not only that, it gives employees a final chance to be heard and make their thoughts and feelings known.
There’s no right or wrong way to conduct exit interview, but you want to make the most of the opportunity by using well-thought-out questions.
Why are you leaving?
This question might strike some as a little blunt, but it’s the foundation for the best exit interview processes. You want to know what’s driven an employee to go, whether it’s a larger salary, a poor company culture, or a lack of career progression options.
You might want to make this question more specific depending on the individual themselves.
It might be somebody who has worked for you for more than a decade and seemed perfectly content before suddenly deciding to leave.
If this coincides with a change of management, or an overhaul of the organisation’s structure and rules, it is especially something to drill down into.
What did you enjoy most(/least) about your role?
This will give you some insight into what has helped to keep your employees happy, and what might be contributing to staff turnover.
Commonly occurring positives are good for understanding what’s going right, and common grievances shine a light on what needs to change to retain the staff who haven’t yet left.
Questions like this can end up significantly affecting the way your business operates, either enshrining positive aspects in the core of your company culture, or overhauling processes so that the negatives are stamped out.
If you could leave one piece of advice for the management, what would it be?
Not everybody will be so forthcoming in an exit interview, so this question may not work the same for everyone.
However, an exit interview is the best time to ask, as there is the highest chance of the employee being honest and having nothing to fear from that honesty.
Of course, this kind of dialogue doesn’t need to wait until an exit interview.
Resources like an alumni management platform can open doors for employees who want to speak directly to management in a convenient format without needing to book meetings and take up time.
It also facilitates communication between staff on all levels, making everybody feel more heard and allowing the sharing of ideas with greater efficiency.
Would you recommend working with us to a friend? Why/why not?
Asking employees to consider this hypothetical concept can help them reframe their perspective on their job.
While some people would be willing to put up with certain annoyances in their work, questioning whether they would bring a friend into the same environment might stir some deeper feelings.
For you on the business side, this might also bring up some good points of comparison.
For example, if employees wouldn’t recommend their friends to work with you because they are all paid better salaries—and if the employee themselves has cited salary as a reason for leaving—then it may be timed to review your levels of remuneration across the business.
Do you feel that your job has changed from when you first joined? How?
It’s natural for job roles to change over time, be it in response to the changing needs of the business or a shift in the goals and skillsets of employees.
However, because this change can happen in small increments over a long span of time, employees may not realise just how much their job has changed until they stop and reflect on the difference between their first day and one of their last.
This may not be a bad thing: employees might be thankful for the extra skills and experience they’ve obtained through their role adapting alongside them.
However, some employees may see changes to their job as them being shoehorned into what the business needs rather than what they want from their careers. Either way, you need to know!
Would you ever consider returning in future?
This can be one of the best exit interview questions to ask. As well as giving you an indication of how much an employee feels they need to put the business behind them, asking this can also help you keep a record of employees who might be perfect to fill any potential roles or expansion in future.
Of course, this is also an opportune springboard to discuss the things about the company that made the employee happy and the things that did not.
Do you feel that your work and achievements were recognised?
Everybody wants to be recognised for their work.
Even if a worker is introverted and doesn’t want to draw attention to themselves, they likely want to be seen for their contributions and given credit for the ways in which they help the business move forwards.
For management, this should be a basic part of the role—showing employees that their work matters and that it’s noticed.
Without this, you can easily see sharp dips in morale, especially during periods of high stress and tight deadlines.
If exit interviews reveal a lack of recognition for hard work, you have a good idea where to start building employee morale back up.
How does employee engagement tie into the exit interviews?
An employee leaving the business doesn’t need to be totally gone forever.
With an alumni management platform, they can keep in touch with their treasured colleagues and see how their former workplace has changed. Who knows? They might be a ‘boomerang’ hire down the road.
Aluminati helps keep workplace bonds strong with our customisable employee community platforms, empowering businesses with greater retention, better understanding, and more open communication.
To find out more about Aluminate and to get a free demo, contact us today.