It’s never easy seeing a good employee leave your company. We try to do whatever we can to retain great talent, but we know that eventually, we might need to say goodbye. Employees often have many reasons for leaving. Sometimes they simply outgrow their roles and need to move on to the next chapter in their careers. Alternatively, other employees might be leaving due to internal factors such as burnout, toxic company culture, or poor management.
Many employees may feel uncomfortable bringing up these issues, even when their departure from the company is approaching. So is there anything managers can do to find out why employees are leaving and how to avoid great talent from leaving in the future? You bet! The solution to this problem is called an exit interview.
Why Conduct Exit Interviews?
Simply put, exit interviews are surveys conducted by upper management or the Human Resources department to give to employees who have given notice to leave the company. An exit interview can really help your company gauge why employees are leaving and whether or not there are internal issues that you need to be made aware of.
The best reason to conduct exit interviews is that they give you deeper insight into the problems within your company’s everyday operations and its culture. Company culture is one of the most important factors in retaining top talent. Being made aware of problems within your organization’s culture is key to keeping great employees.
Have a look through this great collection of exit interview questions below to get a better understanding on what questions you should ask departing employees – and why these exit interview questions matter!
15 Excellent Exit Interview Questions
1. What caused you to start looking for a new position?
Sometimes employees look for a new position for noble reasons like career growth or wanting a change of scenery. Other times, employees start looking for a job due to internal issues you might not know about. Asking this question will allow you to recognize trends in employee departures. If there is opportunity for career growth within your company, it’s good to know whether or not employees are aware of it.
2. How would you describe the company culture here?
This is probably one of the most important questions you can ask departing employees. If the way your employees describe the culture doesn’t match the cultural values or goals as defined by the company, there might be a serious culture issue. Knowing about these issues helps you to hire for culture add so you can hire employees who will build upon your culture.
3. Is there anything we could have done to keep you here?
Don’t consider this as a plea to keep an employee. View this question as a way to find out if your company is doing everything it can to retain top talent. This is what an exit interview is all about.
4. If you could have changed anything about your job, what would it have been?
We can always improve things about our companies and the roles that our employees are in. Finding out how we can make these improvements straight from the source really helps future employees.
5. Did your manager provide you with everything you needed to perform your job?
It’s really important to know not only if managers are providing employees with the tools they need to be successful, but if employees feel that they are given adequate tools and training to get the job done.
6. How can we improve our training process?
A thorough and adequate training program is essential if we want employees to perform their jobs the way we want them to in order to be successful. If our training programs are unfocused, irrelevant, or confusing to employees it’s something we need to know about.
7. Would you ever consider working here again? Why or why not?
Just because an employee doesn’t see themselves as a good fit for a company now doesn’t mean they’ll feel the same way about a company in the future. If employees were excellent at their jobs, it’s good to know whether or not they would be open to rejoining your team in the future. This question leaves a possible unburned bridge.
8. How can we improve?
This is a straightforward question that will give you a straightforward answer! There’s nothing wrong with constructive feedback. You could even ask them how you can improve the exit interview process!
9. In what ways can your former manager improve?
Questions like this one allow you to recognize potential problems in your management team. Studies show that over 75% of employees leave their jobs due to their managers. This allows you to reconfigure your management team to avoid good employees leaving in the future.
10. Did you feel that you were a valuable asset to the company?
Employees want to feel valued. Not only does a sense of value help with productivity, but it also helps with employee retention and company culture. If employees aren’t feeling valuable, there are changes you need to make.
11. Were you offered constructive feedback from team members and your manager?
There is a difference between constructive feedback and negative feedback. Any feedback given to an employee about a project or performance should be objective, specific, and helpful to the employee’s growth and development. Any other feedback doesn’t really help employees – and no feedback at all is even worse!
12. Describe your worst day on the job. Was there anything we could have done to make it better?
Sometimes employees have bad days at work, and often times outside influences like their personal lives might play a factor. Alternatively, their jobs may be the main source of their frustrations. If the latter is true, it’s good to know how your company can avoid bad days for future employees in the future.
13. Would you recommend this company to someone else looking for a job?
This is a good question to ask because it allows you to prepare for any retaliation that might occur from a departing employee who is incredibly unhappy. It also allows you to deescalate the situation before ending the exit interview. You really don’t want employees leaving with a bad taste in their mouths.
14. What qualities do you think your replacement needs to succeed?
Nobody knows a role better than the employee stepping out of it. Go directly to the source to find out what qualities their replacement should have. Our talent assessments are designed to recognize personality traits in candidates that these roles might demand.
15. Is there anything else you would like to address?
Keeping this final question of the exit interview open-ended is purposeful. You want to give departing employees a platform to address anything you might have forgotten to cover. Employees deserve the opportunity to address anything they feel is important for you to know.
Asking departing employees some of these exit interview questions will really help to ensure that employees leave the company without a bad taste in their mouth. Remember that we should always treat our employees with respect – even the ones that plan to leave. We are obligated to support the decisions of our employees, and we shouldn’t punish them for making decisions they need to make for their well-being.
Exit Interviews Offer Valuable Insight
Sending employees off on a high note will do nothing but help your business. Employees are more likely to be brand ambassadors for your company in the future if they leave feeling happy and heard. This can lead to future business opportunities with their next employers. It also mitigates the risk of angry and emotional employees doing harm to your business.
The last thing you want is to have a disgruntled employee leave scathing online reviews about your business or dismantling your brand reputation. Conducting an exit interview gives unhappy employees a platform to air their grievances. Lastly, supporting your employees’ career growth and decisions is simply the right thing to do. Employees come and go, so being a positive part of their journey gives former employees something to happily look back on in the future.
How Bryq Can Help
Exit interviews give you rare insight into the inner workings of your company culture. They show you what is working, what is not working, and what is missing. Additionally, the best way to improve your company culture is to hire for culture add. Companies should onboard new employees whose qualities will help them build and add to their culture. Bryq’s talent assessment software allows you to find candidates whose personality traits and characteristics will help you to build upon your culture. Let us help you fix culture issues so that you can continue to retain great talent!