Why Companies Can’t Get Rid of Exit Interviews

3 min read
Jan 11, 2017

importance of exit interviews

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to worry about your best employees jumping ship. But unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before at least some of them do. Maybe they got an exciting new job offer out of the blue that was just too good to pass up. Maybe they’ve outgrown their current role and your company is unable to offer them a promotion.

Or maybe your company isn’t the greatest place in the world to work.

Many companies might not be keen on conducting exit interviews. If someone’s leaving, who cares what they have to think, anyway?

But exit interviews are actually critical to the success of any business, if for no other reason than they can help improve employee retention significantly. With that in mind, here are 10 reasons why your organization can’t get rid of exit interviews:

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01. Assess your organization in a cost-effective way

To find out what it’s really like to work in the trenches at an organization and determine whether things are run efficiently, some organizations opt to contract the services of consultants, who often charge hefty fees. Exit interviews conducted between managers and outgoing employees can provide the same insight at a fraction of the cost.


02. Make sure you have a plan to collect materials and equipment

You’ll have to collect laptops, mobile devices, and other pieces of equipment before employees leave for the last time. Arrange the logistics of those swaps during exit interviews.


03. Let workers know about confidentiality agreements and other administrative tasks

Remind employees of noncompete clauses and other documents they may have signed when they started. Also let them know which individuals in the organization they should contact with questions about benefits (e.g., your 401k program).


04. Hear the thoughts of someone who’s more likely to be honest

Employees who still work for you might not be inclined to share their true thoughts when those thoughts aren’t what the boss wants to hear. Outgoing employees, on the other hand, have nothing to lose.


05. Find out specific reasons why employees are leaving

Outgoing employees can provide the exact reasons for their departure — which sure beats having to guess why people are leaving.


06. Uncover improvements that could prevent future employees from leaving

Once you know the precise reasons that employees were provoked to leave, you can begin taking steps to prevent their colleagues from leaving in the future. For example, if two of your employees in a row tell you they’re leaving because of your strict work-in-the-office policy, it may be time to consider allowing employees to work remotely.


07. Ensure intellectual property and job expertise is retained

Imagine one of your long-term employees is leaving. The person has been in charge of sending your email newsletter out for the last several years — to the point where no one else on staff knows how to put together the newsletter and send it out themselves. Use an exit interview to pick your employees’ brains so that you don’t lose the totality of their intellectual property and expertise.


08. Show remaining employees that you care about improving your organization

Conducting exit interviews — and putting the information you glean from them into practice — proves to your employees that you care about making your organization an even better place to work. It certainly beats the alternative.


09. Enhance work culture

The improvements you make to the way you do things can have a profoundly positive impact on your work culture. As a result, your employees will be more excited to show up to work each day.


10. Increase employee engagement

The stronger your work culture is, the more engaged your employees will be. Who knew that by conducting exit interviews your organization would be able to increase its productivity and deliver better products and services?

Don’t underestimate the power of exit interviews. When done properly, exit interviews can make your company an even better place to work, improving both your employee engagement and retention stats.



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