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Putting the X into exit interviews June 2011


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Half day open interactive workshop in Toronto on exit interviews.

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Putting the X into exit interviews June 2011

  1. 1. Putting the X into exit interviews<br />by Toronto Training and HR <br />June 2011<br />
  2. 2. Contents<br />3-4 Introduction to Toronto Training and HR<br /> 5-6 Definition<br /> 7-13 Aims and outcomes<br /> 14-15 Results from exit interviews<br /> 16-17 Preparing for an exit interview<br /> 18-20 Challenges and barriers<br />21-32 Typical questions<br />33-35 Knowledge transfer questions<br />36-42 Exit interviews with discharged employees<br />43-50 Case studies<br />51-52 Conclusion and questions<br />Page 2<br />
  3. 3. Page 3<br />Introduction<br />
  4. 4. Page 4<br />Introduction to Toronto Training and HR<br />Toronto Training and HRis a specialist training and human resources consultancy headed by Timothy Holden <br />10 years in banking<br />10 years in training and human resources<br />Freelance practitioner since 2006<br />The core services provided by Toronto Training and HR are:<br /><ul><li>Training course design
  5. 5. Training course delivery</li></ul>- Reducing costs<br /><ul><li>Saving time
  6. 6. Improving employee engagement & morale
  7. 7. Services for job seekers</li></li></ul><li>Page 5<br />Definition<br />
  8. 8. Page 7<br />Definition<br />What is an exit interview?<br />
  9. 9. Page 7<br />Aims and outcomes<br />
  10. 10. Page 8<br />Aims and outcomes 1 of 6<br />They provide an opportunity to 'make peace' with disgruntled employees, who might otherwise leave with vengeful intentions. <br />Exit interviews are seen by existing employees as a sign of positive culture. They are regarded as caring and compassionate - a sign that the organization is big enough to expose itself to criticism. <br />Exit interviews accelerate participating managers' understanding and experience of managing people and organizations. Hearing and handling feedback is a powerful development process. <br />
  11. 11. Page 9<br />Aims and outcomes 2 of 6<br />Exit interviews help to support an organization's proper HR practices. They are seen as positive and necessary for quality and effective people-management by most professional institutes and accrediting bodies concerned with quality management of people, organizations and service. <br />The results and analysis of exit interviews provide relevant and useful data directly into training needs analysis and training planning processes. <br />Exit interviews provide valuable information as to how to improve recruitment and induction of new employees. <br />
  12. 12. Page 10<br />Aims and outcomes 3 of 6<br />Exit interviews provide direct indications as to how to improve employee retention. <br />Sometimes an exit interview provides the chance to retain a valuable employee who would otherwise have left (organizations often accept resignations far too readily without discussion or testing the firmness of feeling - the exit interview provides a final safety net). <br />A significant proportion of employee leavers will be people that the organization is actually very sorry to leave (despite the post-rationalisation and sour grapes reactions of many senior executives to the departure of their best people). <br />
  13. 13. Page 11<br />Aims and outcomes 4 of 6<br />The exit interview therefore provides an excellent source of comment and opportunity relating to management succession planning. Good people leave often because they are denied opportunity to grow and advance. Wherever this is happening organizations need to know about it and respond accordingly. Every organization has at any point in time several good people on the verge of leaving because they are not given the opportunity to grow and develop, at the same time, ironically, that most of the management and executives are overworked and stretched, some to the point of leaving too. <br />
  14. 14. Page 12<br />Aims and outcomes 5 of 6<br />Doesn't it therefore make good sense to raise the importance of marrying these two situations to provide advantage both ways - i.e.., facilitate greater delegation of responsibility to those who want it? Exit interviews are an excellent catalyst for identifying specific mistakes and improvement opportunities in this vital area of management development and succession. <br />
  15. 15. Page 13<br />Aims and outcomes 6 of 6<br />Exit interviews, and a properly organised, positive exit process also greatly improve the chances of successfully obtaining and transferring useful knowledge, contacts, insights, tips and experience, from the departing employee to all those needing to know it, especially successors and replacements. Most leavers are happy to help if you have the courage and decency to ask and provide a suitable method for the knowledge transfer, be it a briefing meeting, a one-to-one meeting between the replacement and the leaver, or during the exit interview itself. <br />
  16. 16. Page 14<br />Results from exit interviews<br />
  17. 17. Page 15<br />Results from exit interviews<br />ACTIONS RESULTING FROM EXIT INTERVIEW FEEDBACK ANALYSIS fall into two categories:<br />Remedial and preventative, for example improving health and safety issues, stress, harassment, discrimination, etc. <br />Strategic improvement opportunities, for example improved induction, management or supervisory training, empowerment or team building initiatives, process improvement, wastage and efficiencies improvements, customer service initiatives, etc. <br />
  18. 18. Page 16<br />Preparing for an exit interview<br />
  19. 19. Page 17<br />Preparing for an exit interview<br />LOOK AT TRENDS<br />Average length of employment<br />Top three reasons why people leave<br />Top three positions with the most turnover<br />Look for turnover patterns within a specific department or group<br />Be sure to examine what you are doing on a personal level to prevent future resignations<br />
  20. 20. Page 18<br />Challenges and barriers<br />
  21. 21. Page 19<br />Challenges and barriers 1 of 2 <br />Difficulty starting this process if exit interviews not already established –potentially sensitive at the outset as it<br />involves feedback, and may cause suspicion of vendettas and revenge<br />Lack of trust between the employee and employer, particularly in sales roles where customer relationships and data is typically business critical<br />Excessive ego by the employer or employee or both, resulting in a lose: lose scenario<br />
  22. 22. Page 20<br />Challenges and barriers 2 of 2 <br />Limited skills in executing these meetings, which can be daunting and potentially damaging<br />The difficulty in transferring some intuitive<br />competencies (tacit knowledge) so may be avoided<br />If HR are relied upon to handle all exit interviews, sufficient resource needs to be invested to ensure meaningful follow-up and analysis of the data<br />
  23. 23. Page 21<br />Typical questions<br />
  24. 24. Page 22<br />Typical questions 1 of 11<br />Tell me about how you've come to decide to leave. <br />What is your main reason for leaving? <br />What are the other reasons for your leaving? <br />Why is this important, or so significant for you? <br />Within the (particular reason to leave) what was it that concerned you particularly? <br />What could have been done early on to prevent the situation developing/provide a basis for you to stay with us? <br />How would you have preferred the situation(s) to have been handled? <br />
  25. 25. Page 23<br />Typical questions 2 of 11<br />What opportunities can you see might have existed for the situation/problems to have been averted/dealt with satisfactorily? <br />What can you say about the processes and procedures or systems that have contributed to the problem(s)/your decision to leave? <br />What specific suggestions would you have for how the organization could manage this situation/these issues better in future? <br />How do you feel about the organization? <br />
  26. 26. Page 24<br />Typical questions 3 of 11<br />What has been good/enjoyable/satisfying for you in your time with us? <br />What has been frustrating/difficult/upsetting to you in your time with us? <br />What could you have done better or more for us had we given you the opportunity? <br />What extra responsibility would you have welcomed that you were not given? <br />How could the organization have enabled you to make fuller use of your capabilities and potential? <br />
  27. 27. Page 25<br />Typical questions 4 of 11<br />What training would you have liked or needed that you did not get, and what effect would this have had? <br />How well do think your training and development needs were assessed and met? <br />What training and development that you had did you find most helpful and enjoyable? <br />What can you say about communications within the organization/your department? <br />What improvements do you think can be made to customer service and relations? <br />
  28. 28. Page 26<br />Typical questions 5 of 11<br />What training would you have liked or needed that you did not get, and what effect would this have had? <br />How well do think your training and development needs were assessed and met? <br />What training and development that you had did you find most helpful and enjoyable? <br />What can you say about communications within the organization/your department? <br />What improvements do you think can be made to customer service and relations? <br />
  29. 29. Page 27<br />Typical questions 6 of 11<br />How would you describe the culture or 'feel' of the organization? <br />What could you say about communications and relations between departments, and how these could be improved? <br />Were you developed/inducted adequately for your role(s)? <br />What improvement could be made to the way that you were inducted/prepared for your role(s)? <br />
  30. 30. Page 28<br />Typical questions 7 of 11<br />(For recent recruits of less than a year or so:) What did you think about the way we recruited you? How did the reality alter from your expectations when you first joined us? How could we have improved your own recruitment? How could your induction training have been improved? <br />How could you have been helped to better know/understand/work with other departments necessary for the organization to perform more effectively? <br />What can you say about the way your performance was measured, and the feedback to you of your performance results? <br />
  31. 31. Page 29<br />Typical questions 8 of 11<br />How well do you think the appraisal system worked for you? <br />What would you say about how you were motivated, and how that could have been improved? <br />What suggestion would you make to improve working conditions, hours, shifts, amenities, etc.? <br />What would you say about equipment and machinery that needs replacing or upgrading, or which isn't fully/properly used for any reason? <br />What can you say about the way you were managed?... On a day to day basis?....... And on a month to month basis? <br />
  32. 32. Page 30<br />Typical questions 9 of 11<br />How would you have changed the expectations/objectives/aims (or absence of) that were placed on you? ...... And why? <br />What, if any, ridiculous examples of policy, rules, instructions, can you highlight? <br />What examples of ridiculous waste (material or effort), pointless reports, meetings, bureaucracy, etc., could you point to? <br />How could the organization reduce stress levels among employees where stress is an issue? <br />
  33. 33. Page 31<br />Typical questions 10 of 11<br />How could the organization enabled you to have made better use of your time? <br />What things did the organization or management do to make your job more difficult/frustrating/non-productive? <br />How can the organization gather and make better use of the views and experience of its people? <br />Aside from the reason(s) you are leaving, how strongly were you attracted to committing to a long and developing career with us? <br />What can the organization do to retain its best people (and not lose any more like you)? <br />
  34. 34. Page 32<br />Typical questions 11 of 11<br />Have you anything to say about your treatment from a discrimination or harassment perspective? <br />Would you consider working again for us if the situation were right? <br />Are you happy to say where you are going (if you have decided)? <br />What particularly is it about them that makes you want to join them? <br />What, importantly, are they offering that we are not? <br />(If appropriate:) Could you be persuaded to renegotiate/stay/discuss the possibility of staying? <br />
  35. 35. Page 33<br />Knowledge transfer questions<br />
  36. 36. Page 34<br />Knowledge transfer questions 1 of 2<br />How might we benefit from your knowledge, experience, introductions to your contacts, etc., prior to your departure? <br />Would you be happy to take part in a briefing meeting with managers/replacements/successor/colleagues so that we can benefit from your knowledge and experience, prior to your leaving? <br />What can we do to enable you to pass on as much of your knowledge and experience as possible to your replacement/successor prior to your departure? <br />
  37. 37. Page 35<br />Knowledge transfer questions 2 of 2<br />How and when would you prefer to pass on your knowledge to your successor? <br />I realise that you'll not be happy with the situation surrounding your departure, however we would really appreciate it if you could help us to understand some of the important things you've been working on - how might we agree for this knowledge to be transferred? <br />We'd be grateful for you to introduce (name of successor) to your key contacts before you go - are you happy to help with this? <br />
  38. 38. Page 36<br />Exit interviews with discharged employees<br />
  39. 39. Page 37<br />Exit interviews with discharged employees 1 of 6<br />It is best to have at least two managers at such an interview in case there is a dispute<br />about what went on.<br />First, tell the departing employee that the organization has decided to terminate his/her<br />employment due to unsatisfactory performance, tardiness, failure to follow instructions, reduction in force or other specific reasons approved by your lawyer.<br />
  40. 40. Page 38<br />Exit interviews with discharged employees 2 of 6<br />You should always be able to document a factually solid, sensible reason, regardless of whether the employment was at-will.<br />Even if you don't consult your lawyer every time you fire an employee, you should ask about any reason that is not on the list above. Don't fire someone for a reason that is improper or that can easily be made to look suspect.<br />
  41. 41. Page 39<br />Exit interviews with discharged employees 3 of 6<br />Remind the departing employee of your previous discussions, if any, concerning the problems for which he is being terminated. Tell him, if applicable, that as a result of the lack of sufficient improvement in the relevant areas, you cannot continue his employment.<br />If you are offering the employee a severance package that contains releases of liability (and you should), tell him that you are willing to offer him a severance agreement that<br />would give him certain benefits. Then give the employee your standard termination letter, the severance agreement, and the usual notices.<br />
  42. 42. Page 40<br />Exit interviews with discharged employees 4 of 6<br />Listen carefully and patiently to what the employee has to say, especially including any complaints he may have. If the employee disagrees with the reasons for his/her termination, ask the employee why, and later consider what response may be appropriate, perhaps in consultation with your lawyer. Do not argue with the employee. Simply say that you are sorry that you do not agree with the employee and are surprised at any untrue statements that he/she may make.<br />
  43. 43. Page 41<br />Exit interviews with discharged employees 5 of 6<br />Ask the departing employee whether he/she has any documents belonging to the organization, including lists of clients, and arrange for their return. Remind the employee that he/she has a continuing obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the company's business after his/her departure. Make arrangements for the employee to remove his/her personal belongings at your mutual convenience.<br />
  44. 44. Page 42<br />Exit interviews with discharged employees 6 of 6<br />Ask whether the employee's records relating to compensation are up to date. These<br />might include records relating to leave taken. Make arrangements for a check to be issued<br />for all accrued compensation, including any salary, leave time, vacation time and commissions. If there is any disagreement about compensation, tender the amount that you believe you owe, and offer to get back to the employee as to any disputed amount.<br />
  45. 45. Page 43<br />Case study A<br />
  46. 46. Page 44<br />Case study A <br />
  47. 47. Page 45<br />Case study B-State of Connecticut<br />
  48. 48. Page 46<br />Case study B <br />
  49. 49. Page 47<br />Case study C<br />
  50. 50. Page 48<br />Case study C <br />
  51. 51. Page 49<br />Case study D<br />
  52. 52. Page 50<br />Case study D <br />
  53. 53. Page 51<br />Conclusion & Questions<br />
  54. 54. Page 52<br />Conclusion<br />Summary<br />Questions<br />