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12 essential exit interview questions

Employees leave. No matter how much time and effort you invest in retention strategies, you simply cannot keep them all. While it can be hard to accept the resignation of a valuable employee, it can also offer a great opportunity to learn about their employee experience.

Although they won’t want to burn any bridges, outgoing staff are likely to be willing to have an honest conversation about your strengths and weaknesses as an employer.

In fact, an OfficeTeam survey among 307 human resources managers in the US found that 63% of HR managers said their company often acts on information gathered during exit interviews, for example by updating job descriptions, discussing feedback regarding management, or making changing to the work environment/culture.

To make sure you too can make the most of this opportunity, OfficeTeam has compiled a list of 12 essential questions to ask your exiting employee.

  1. What circumstances prompted you to start looking for another job?
  2. Under what circumstances, if any, would you consider returning to the company?
  3. Do you think management adequately recognised employee contributions? If not, how do you think recognition could be improved?
  4. Were there any company policies you found difficult to understand? How can the firm make them clearer?
  5. Do you feel your job description changed since you were hired, and if so, in what ways?
  6. Did you feel you had the tools, resources and working conditions to be successful in your role? If not, which areas could be improved and how?
  7. Do you feel you had the necessary training to be successful in your role? If not, how could it have been better?
  8. What was the best part of your job here?
  9. What can the organisation improve on?
  10. Do you have any suggestions for improving employee morale?
  11. Do you have any concerns about the company you’d like to share?
  12. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

While exit interviews are a great occasion to get some honest employee feedback, it can be a case of too little too late. Instead of waiting until the last moment, use the questions above as a guideline to check in with staff on a regular basis. Ultimately, you want your employees to raise any concerns as and when they arrive - not after they've already decided to move on.

ALSO READ: How to deal with negative feedback from your staff

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