Exit Interview Process - Guide to Automating Exit Interviews

The Definitive Guide for an Effective Employee Exit Interview Process

Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran

November 20th, 2018 Employee Offboarding   HR Process  

The steep rise in the ‘churn and burn’ rate is an ever-growing concern for all HR leaders. It can be impossible to retain a person who is intent on leaving your organization, but understanding the reason why he or she decided to quit will help you rein in your churn rate. This is where employee exit interviews play an integral role in the employee offboarding process.

When appropriately handled, the exit interview process is a golden opportunity to reveal why your employee turnover is swelling at an alarming rate. But most organizations seem to consider these treasures as a pointless endeavor that give out conflicting or vague insights. Due to the mounting pressures from other aspects of their work, the HR team often does the bare minimum needed to complete the task.

exit interview process

Instead of blatantly disregarding exit interviews as a lost cause, try to find out how to derive desired results from them. Where does the problem lie in the current process? What makes an employee withhold their true views even when they are about to leave your organization? What are they concerned about and how do you alleviate those concerns?

Does your typical face-to-face approach make your employees feel hesitant to share their opinions candidly? Or is your thick questionnaire booklet killing their brain cells with repeated and mundane questions? Is the background noise and use of colloquialism making phone interviews a huge no-no?

Before you start pondering over the problems in the current system and look for ways to solve them, take a minute to understand why exit interview process is an essential part of the offboarding process and what exactly they are all about.

What is the exit interview process?

The exit interview process manages the scheduling, questions, and follow-ups related to an employee’s final interview before leaving the organization. It is typically handled by the HR department and may also include the reporting manager and someone from the leadership team. The process exists to collect essential and sensitive information.

Whoever conducts these meetings, there’s a common structure. The employee is asked questions about the reason for their exit, and if anything in their tenure with the company led to their departure. Instead of having a structured set of questions, the representative from management may have an informal discussion with the employee. The goal of this process is to discover the reasons causing employee churn, and ways to reduce or prevent it.

The last stage of the exit interview process involves taking measures to incorporate the feedback received into your policies and to demonstrate your organization’s interest in improving problematic areas.

Common exit interview questions

You can’t find answers to questions you don’t raise. It helps to prepare a exit interview questionnaire which asks the right questions. This way, you can gather data from departing employees. Here are a few frequently asked exit interview questions:

  • Why did you decide to quit?
  • What would make you stay?
  • Did you have any issues with your supervisor/manager?
  • Were your role and expectations communicated clearly?
  • What did you like/dislike about our organization?
  • Did you receive the resources required to perform your job properly?
  • How would you describe our company’s culture?
  • Would you recommend our organization to your friend?
  • If offered an opportunity, would you come back to work with us?
  • What are the key qualities we should look for when hiring your replacement?

Are Exit Interviews Really Important in the Offboarding Process?

The exit interview process is the most commonly used method to gather employee feedback. When employees don’t rely on your organization for their livelihood, they’re more likely to provide honest feedback. Not everyone will speak forthrightly about an organization and its culture, but your best bet is usually with a worker who won’t face any consequences for sharing his/her honest opinion.

Exit checklist answers offer accurate data to evaluate the quality of work life within an organization and pinpoint problems associated with employee retention and engagement. Solid employee exit interviews give the HR department a lot of valuable insight. They can:

  • Discover flaws in current management policies
  • Reveals patterns in employee resignations
  • Highlight opportunities available for employee development
  • Offer employees the opportunity to share constructive criticism
  • Provide insights to improve your recruiting, onboarding, and training process
  • Detect opportunities for improvement in your organization’s culture

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Problems in the present exit interview process

Most organizations take a conservative approach towards exit interview process. They are not ready to spend additional resources digitizing something as seemingly inconsequential as exit interviews. And so, they conduct exit interviews in-person, over the phone, and on paper forms.  

Although in-person and phone interviews give you the opportunity to probe more for information, they can be counterproductive, since they make the employee hesitant sharing information. In enterprise companies, interviewing each employee is a time-consuming process. Also, it is hard to track information that is received verbally.

On the other hand, pen and paper-based interviews can make employees comfortable and encourage them to be more honest in their opinion. However, it is quite challenging to compile, track and analyze the data acquired. So, retrieving insights from that data becomes even more complicated. Digitizing the exit interview process can solve all the pain-points and keep it simple.

Advantages of automating the exit interview process

If you want to uncover valuable information through your exit interviews, you need to focus on two crucial factors: getting genuine answers to your questions, and aggregating the data in an easy-to-interpret way. Digitizing your exit interview and automating it to analyze the data will make it more efficient. It also eases the workload that your HR staff have to face.

What does an automated exit interview look like? It starts with an automated form for the departing employee to fill out. It’ll already have all their important data already populated. Then, the information can be sent to a manager, who can use that data to conduct a live interview to get more qualitative answers. These answers also go on the same form. Dropdowns and checkboxes can be used to categorize responses for future reference.

All of this data is automatically sent to the HR team. This appears on a master spreadsheet which analyzes trends in responses.

In addition to this, automating exit interviews online can:

  • Make employees comfortable sharing sensitive information
  • Sort and compile information automatically for tracking
  • Provide instantaneous, easy-to-read reports
  • Spot trends in employee departures
  • Make it easy to compare data and acquire actionable insights
  • Offer employee self-service options and ease the burden of HR
  • Increase participation rate in exit surveys

Ease the trials of exit interviews process using automation

Are you interested in implementing a strategic exit interview process that yields ongoing and long-term benefits? Would you like to improve your organizational practices, strengthen your work culture and identify troubles that prompt your skilled workers to walk out? Tired of using inflexible forms with irrelevant data fields? Gain valuable insights that reduce your turnover and improve employee retention using Kissflow HR Cloud customizable interface to create an exit interview template that fits the needs of your organization.

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