Exit Interview

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1. Definition:

The formal conversation that takes place between an employee and human resources (HR) or other manager to determine the reason(s) the employee is leaving. (enterprenuer.com)

When an employee makes a voluntary decision to leave an organization, it is important for the organization to find out the reason for leaving, as the employee takes with him/her the knowledge, skills, expertise, and the experience. Generally, employee turnover happens due to the organizational and/or interpersonal and/or personal reasons. To understand the factors that compelled an employee to end its relationship with the organization is an integral part of the employment ending process. The organization should use the exit interview as an effective tool to develop and implement the strategies for meaningful staff retention. The exit interview provides the organization an opportunity to 'make peace' with a disgruntled employee; otherwise, the employee leave with the vengeful intentions which could lead to negative publicity for the organization.

The number of questions can be asked to the departing employee, but a careful selection has to be made based on what outcomes the organization would like to derive. Some of the basic questions asked are stated below. For a detailed list of questions, please refer Appendix A. a. Overall, how did you find your experience working on this team? b. What did you like about it?

c. What could have been better?
d. What is the primary reason for leaving?
e. What would it take for you to stay?
f. Did you receive enough training and support to do your job effectively? g. Did you receive sufficient feedback about your performance between reviews? h. Did any policies or procedures (or any other obstacles) make your job more difficult? i. Would you consider working for this organization again in the future? j. What does your new position offer that your previous one doesn't? k. Any other comments?

2. Importance to Human Resource Management (HRM):

The exit interview is not only important to the HR department but is also beneficial to the entire organization. The feedbacks/results received from the exit interview are critical for the organization’s on-going success. If used strategically, then it is extremely important in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, organization’s policies, the working environment, and the employee’s immediate supervisor or manager. The good exit interview not only helps to foster a positive corporate culture, but it also exhibit that the organization is open to constructive criticism. Hence, exit interview favorably contributes to the HRM in particular and the organization in general.

More and more organizations, now-a–days are valuing the purpose of exit interview. There are some general accepted standards and principles or preferably known as “best practices” in implementing and conducting exit interview. These are briefly listed below: * Exit interview should be voluntary and non-prejudicial

* Find out why is the employee leaving
* Reassure the employee, that information will be kept confidential and used only for the improvement of the organization * Include open ended questions in the interview i.e. what/how/why questions * If possible give the questionnaire ahead of time, so the employee can think about the answers * Questionnaire should include questions about the job, organization, culture the skills required by the successor, compensation, benefits, any recommendations etc. * Listen and don’t react, give an opportunity to the departing employee to talk * Use the feedback obtained in a constructive way and not as a direct criticism of the employee * Thank the employee for their time and effort in sharing information to make the organization a better place.

A written policy on the exit interview is required as it explains the purpose, scope, procedures,...
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