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Exit Interviews


Clint Maun, CSP

You're experiencing high turnover. Employees are quitting. Do you really know why employees leave your company? Do you have a system in place to talk candidly with departing employees? *

Our experience has shown most employers are extremely surprised when presented the results of an Exit Interview Survey. Contrary to popular belief, most past employees responding to an exit interview process do not use it to provide inaccurate or exaggerated information. While a few disgruntled individuals will be negative for spiteful reasons, many people welcome the opportunity to present valuable feedback in a straight forward manner - if - this is very important - if the questions are presented to them in a confidential, positive, objective manner.

Phone, mail or both may be used to conduct exit interviews. In all cases, it must be stressed that the information provided by the past employee will be kept strictly confidential.
  • May include transferred or promoted positions.

It's interesting to note that you may uncover internal personnel/payroll department (MIS) problems when formulating a list of past employees (over the last 12 months). We have found that many companies' information database is not accurately and timely updated which presents problems when assembling a past employee roster. If you find and rectify this problem…you're already "miles ahead" in improving the service of your operation. Considering federal wage/tax payroll filing requirements, inaccurate records could present many problems for your organization in the future.

We suggest implementing a policy for exit interviews to be conducted within 30 days of an employee's departure. Timely information is much more valuable and if a theme of issues surface, much easier to correct.

Phone Survey Question Topics

A phone survey will be successful if you conduct it in a conversational manner. People become much more likely to provide expanded information and particulars when asked open ended questions vs. questions with a ranking order. Here are a few examples:
  1. What were your reasons for leaving the company?
  2. Did you receive the appropriate training?
  3. Did you receive the required supervision?
  4. How was the wage and benefits?
  5. How was communication?
  6. Did you receive feedback on your work performance?
  7. Did you receive satisfaction with this work experience?
  8. Would you recommend our company to your colleagues?

General Comments:

Did you feel a lack of administration support?

Was there a lack of corporate support?

Written Survey Questions

A cover letter should be sent with a stamped self-addressed envelope back to past employees (Administration and DON's). Sample:

What facility did you work in ____________________, and who was your immediate supervisor ____________________.

  1. Reason for leaving (company name). Check one.
    1. Better job opportunity
    2. Asked to leave the organization
    3. Required relocation
    4. Retirement
    5. Treatment by co-workers
    6. Inadequate training
    7. Required to float too often
    8. Orientation did not prepare you for actual workload
    9. Work atmosphere was not fun
    10. Care load too high
    11. Other (please explain)______________________________________________

    • Response scale:
      1. Little or no degree
      2. A slight degree
      3. A moderate degree
      4. A considerable degree
      5. A very great degree
  2. To what degree did you receive the appropriate training necessary for your job?
  3. To what degree did you receive the required supervision for your job?
  4. To what degree do you believe the wages and benefits for your job were appropriate?
  5. To what degree did you receive the communication necessary to do your job?
  6. To what degree did you receive the appropriate feed back on your work performance?
  7. To what degree were you satisfied with your work experience at (company name)?
  8. To what degree were you recommend a (company name) position to a colleague?

General Comments:

For more detail information on EXIT INTERVIEWS and actual surveys you can download for your own use, click here.

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