OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE REASONS AS TO
WHY EMPLOYEES LEAVING THE ORGANIZATION
Exit interview exit interview is a conversation between a
departing employee and a representative of the
organization (either the functional head of the employee,
peer or someone from HR department).
A formal interview with the departing executive with the
sole purpose of identifying factors making him leave.
Structured, purposeful and open discussion.
An hour. On day of handing over charge.
WHY EMPLOYEES LEAVE
Weaker / undefined career path
Lack of recognition
Change of personal goals
Ineffective reward systems
Feeling of boredom
Lack of challenges
Work life imbalance
Stressful work environment
Culture of not taking the accountability
Less overall communication between people
Too much Internal politics
Company culture mismatch with individual’s values
Lack of growth opportunities & learning opportunities
Lack of coaching, training and mentoring
Lack of motivation
Lack of trust and confidence in the boss / management
Sore relationship with team members
WHY TO CONDUCT EXIT INTERVIEW?
Employees who voluntarily leave the organization are sources of
valuable information who can give honest feedback about the
An eye - opener and a significant review to see how the company is
To find out if there is any workplace hostility and/or harassment
Reduce Employee Turnover and Improve Retention.
Yields crucial information about the pulse of the organization
What aspects of the organization needs improvement in order to
increase employee engagement, performance, and loyalty.
Allows unconstrained feedback on working conditions.
Knowing the reason or reasons why your employees leave will
assist in identifying your organization’s weaknesses.
Will help efforts in the direction of job design, adequacy of training,
salary structure, etc.
Comparison of strategies/conditions prevailing outside as compared
Sets a culture to establish a link with departing employee.
DIFFERENT METHODS – PROS AND CONS
In - Person Exit Interviews – With in-person exit interviews an HR representative
meets individually with each terminating employee.
Gives a personal touch to each employee
Can probe for more information on each question
Employees may be afraid to share sensitive or negative information during an in-
For larger companies, it may be too time consuming to interview every employee
It’s difficult to track information received verbally during an interview
Telephone Exit Interview – Conducted over the telephone by an HR Representative
or an outside third party consultant.
Can probe for more information on each question
Can enter data into a tracking system while conducting the interview
Easier to schedule than in-person interviews
Time consuming if done in-house by an HR Representative
Expensive if done with an outside consultant
Employees often reluctant to verbally share sensitive or negative information
Paper and Pencil Exit Interviews – Paper and Pencil Exit Interviews are usually
conducted by a form that is given to the employee on their last day or mailed to the
Takes less time to provide a form compared with conducting an in person or phone
Employees can share information on paper that they may be reluctant to say in
Return rates for exit interview forms average just 30-35%
Difficult and time consuming to compile and track the data from paper and pencil
Online Exit Interview
Employee self-service so easy for HR to administer
Employees comfortable sharing information by computer so more honest responses
Information automatically compiles and tracked
Reports available at a click of a button
Participation rates double that for paper and pencil exit interview
PRESENT METHOD – AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT
Using mixed strategy – In-Person & Paper and Pencil Exit Interview.
Structured and well defined format
Open ended questions discussion
To make the process more effective:
Involvement of TL to get exit feedback
Discussion between HR and the leaving employee
Detailed discussion on exit interview feedback so as to improvise
EXIT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Why have you decided to leave the organization?
Did any specific reason trigger your decision to leave?
What has been good/enjoyable/satisfying for you in your time with us?
What has been frustrating/difficult/upsetting to you in your time with us?
How do you generally feel about this company?
What did you like most about this company?
What did you like least about this company?
Did your job duties turn out to be as you expected?
Did you receive enough training to do your job effectively?
Did you receive adequate support to do your job?
Did you receive sufficient feedback about your performance?
Did this company help you to fulfill your career goals?
What would you improve to make our workplace better?
Based on your experience with us, what do you think it takes to succeed at this company?
Would you consider working again for this company in the future?
Would you recommend working for this company to your family and friends?
What does your new company offer that this company doesn't?
Can we be of any particular help to you in this move/deciding what to do next (we can't
promise anything obviously)?
What could you say about communications and relations between departments, and how these
could be improved?
What examples of ridiculous waste (material or effort), pointless reports, meetings,
bureaucracy, etc., Could you point to?
What specific suggestions would you have for how the organization could manage this
situation/these issues better in future?
WHO SHOULD CONDUCT THE INTERVIEW?
HR department normally conducts the exit interview.
Over the last few years, the use of third-party vendors to conduct
exit interviews has increased sharply.
Vendors are professionals and employees may be more candid with
To get the most out of your exit interviews, choose interviewers
Perceived by the departing employee as someone with integrity
who will take the employee’s input seriously and maintain
Properly trained and skilled in building rapport, asking probing
questions while keeping the employee at ease, and handling
negative or emotional employees.
WHO SHOULD BE INTERVIEWED?
All voluntarily separating employees should be offered an exit
Depending on the purpose and goals, interviewing employees who
are transferring between departments or locations, retiring, or
ending a contracted job or fired may also be considered.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CONDUCT THE
Many organizations conduct the exit interview a day or two before the
employee’s last day of working, but others interview employees a few
weeks after they leave.
Some points needs to be taken into consideration are:
Are employees more likely to participate before or after they’ve left?
How will employees’ emotions differ before and after leaving?
When are employees likely to provide the most candid and useful
Do we want to combine the interview with other activities, such as
handing over charge.
Do not merely file the exit interview form in the personal record of the
employee; The entire exercise will be futile if the answers of the separating
employee are just filed.
Collate the information and understand why employees are leaving the
Validate findings with matching responses from within.
Help change the internal policies and practices accordingly; effects should be
visible to existing staff.
When initiatives to improve are not visible, future exercises would have little
to learn from & treated as one more formality.
Majority of reasons provided at the time of exit interview were voluntary &
unavoidable, but after the follow-up stage it is found that most of the reasons
were voluntary & avoidable.
A systematic approach should be developed in determining the actual reasons
for the employees departure.
CONDUCTING A SUCCESSFUL EXIT INTERVIEW
Deal with facts not with opinions
End the meeting with a positive tone and if appropriate, ask
employee to recommend people to be hired.
Prepare checklist covering all details.
90% listening, 10% talking.
Listen to feelings. Tactfully probe sensitive topics.
Convincing the employee to change his mind.
Avoid counseling the employee about his career options/future .
Insist on honesty. Hierarchies need not be respected.
Be open to adverse criticism.
ALTERNATIVE TO EXIT INTERVIEW – STAY INTERVIEW
Based on the ‘Hawthorne Effect’, which states that people who are
given attention are a motivated lot. The employee needs to be
heard since they feel good about being heard.
Stay interviews focus on what is going right, rather than what
Preventive tool in employee retention strategy
Firms can use stay interviews for those in key positions, for
targeted "at risk" individuals or do a random sample.
Exit interviews find out why employees leave, while stay
interviews focus on what makes employees stay with the company
Exit Interview is - Diagnosis & Drugs whereas Stay interview is -
Exercise & Eat healthy.
Informal and unstructured
Conducted periodically (mostly – 6 months) by the immediate
supervisor, HR as key partners and facilitators in the process.
o While exit interviews are largely a reactive process, still relevant.
o The simple way is trust; Win employees confidence and seal your
o Exit interviews if conducted with a purpose can prove to be an
excellent tool for measuring inadequacies in management policies.
o It is valuable only if used to make positive changes in the
* Exit and Stay Interview serve different yet complementary
purposes, with latter proactively focusing on the individual and
staff retention & exit interviews focusing on the organization and
the issues causing staff turnover.