Exit Interviews Boost Retention and Mitigate Risk
Exit interviews are an essential part of the offboarding process. They aren’t required by law, but it’s a good idea for companies to perform them either internally or through a third party. If your company doesn’t already have an exit interview policy, we’ve put together a short list of some of the benefits of adding this offboarding process.
3 Benefits of Exit Interviews
It seems like everything these days relies on data collection - and with good reason. The data collected in exit interviews is priceless, and provides information you may not be able to obtain at any other time during an employees’ tenure. One of the biggest identifiers of an engaged team is low turnover, which is difficult to achieve if you don’t know why your talent is leaving. Through exit interviews, the HR department has the opportunity to collect data surrounding those vital questions. Keep in mind, though, that asking the question is half the battle. The other half is getting that data to the right people to affect change. According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, only ⅓ of the companies researched actually analyze and use the data extracted from the exit interview. This is a huge missed opportunity!
Perhaps the reason for high turnover is the culture. Perhaps the job didn’t match the job description when they were hired. Perhaps there’s an issue with a member of the leadership team. Building and maintaining a strong company culture is essential to keeping happy, engaged employees. Exit interviews are a great way to learn more about the culture from someone who may feel a little more apt to share their true feelings. “A departing employee opens the door for new ways of thinking and doing,” Marissa Levin, Founder and CEO of Successful Culture shares. By consistently performing exit interviews as part of the offboarding process the HR department is more likely to notice trends and make cultural changes.
An exit interview closes the loop with potentially disgruntled employees. Without it, upset employees may leave - without closure - and potentially wreak havoc on your brand. It’s important to use the exit interview as an opportunity to present and sign any confidentiality agreements, waivers for rights to sue, and discuss severance packages. Janice Webb, an HR professional writing for the Employment Law Handbook, states an employee’s refusal to sign a confidentiality agreement or the like, is a telltale sign they’re planning to sue. By taking part in exit interviews and providing documents for departing employees to sign, the company is able to gauge any risk or fallout from the employee's departure and prepare themselves.
Internal or Third Party?
Many companies choose to conduct exit interviews through their HR personnel. While this may make some exiting employees feel better to speak with team members they know, it has its downsides. Gossip and oversharing, or the opposite - not sharing at all, are potential risks with in-house exit interviews. Some employees may feel that if they share their true feelings, they won’t receive positive references. Exit interviews also present an extra strain on your HR team, who may feel they don’t have the time to conduct a thorough interview.
Hiring a third party company to perform your exit interviews may be in the company’s and employees’ best interest. It saves the employee from potential embarrassment, and they may be more willing to provide candid answers. It also saves time for your HR team on the front end by not having to squeeze in time to conduct it. Whether you choose to do exit interviews in house or through a third party, they are an underrated tool in the company's arsenal, with the potential to increase culture, data, and mitigate risk.
Critical Research offers exit interview services to companies that would like to have their interviews conducted by a third party. Our goal is always to simplify your processes and maintain transparency through our comprehensive list of background check and post-hire services. If you’d like to learn more about our exit interview service, please contact us.