5 Reasons Why an Exit Interview Can Give You a Better Understanding of Your Business

As employers we all know the importance of supporting, retaining and developing our employees. But what happens when people are looking move on?

When an employee resigns, it’s all too easy to dismiss their input before they’ve even packed up their desk. After all, they’re leaving so what can they offer? But an employee exit interview can be a rich source of information which can help you identify problems and make improvements.

An exit interview is not dissimilar to an interview when you’re recruiting someone but rather than assessing someone’s ability for the job you’re quizzing them about their reasons for leaving and areas for company improvement. It’s your opportunity to find out what areas of your business are doing really well and what areas need a bit of improvement. It’s also a chance to make sure your employee leaves happy and, occasionally, encourage them to stay under new circumstances.


Here are some objectives for completing exit interviews:

1. To gather feedback on line management and other employees as a whole.

Take this opportunity to ask them about their working relationship with line managers. Along with getting some inside knowledge, this will also allow you to assess if this was the reason for their departure. Asking about other colleagues also gives you the opportunity to identify if there are any team issues on a micro level.

2. To review your employee value proposition

Are your employees striving for the same thing as your business? If not, why not? This is the perfect time to re-evaluate your company values, how they’re communicated and possibly identify ways to develop them further. Your employees should have the same values as you and your business, ask the interviewee what they think of the company values, how they feel about their communication and how they think they can be improved. If they don’t agree with them – or don’t even know what they are then this should give you some food for thought.

3. To re-evaluate your incentives and benefits

What is their new company offering that you’re not? A good incentive and benefits scheme can attract employees so this is a good time to assess yours. Are they desirable enough? Are they achievable? Ask the employee how they interacted with your benefits package and if they felt they added value as part of their employment.

4. To identify training and development opportunities

A common reason for leaving a role is that the job is too challenging for the employee or they don’t think they are progressing as well as they should be. Understanding an individual’s reasons for moving on can help you identify where training may be required in your business. You may have a great employee that would flourish with some training in the correct fields, ask the employee how further training in the role or progression opportunities would have impacted their decision to leave.

5. To review internal policies

Communication is key within a business, this lets employees know what behaviours will be tolerated and what the business expects. Is the employee leaving because they haven’t followed policies and procedures? Are all your employees aware of these guidelines? If not, this is a great time to review your internal policies and how they’re communicated.

After conducting an exit interview you should have a greater knowledge about how your employees feel and it could ultimately help to prevent more great employees from departing from your business. Exit interviews are a valuable tool but they need to be carried out correctly if you want to get the most out of them. You also need to be prepared to hear some brutally frank answers.

As bold as it may be, try asking the question “If this was your business what would you do differently?” – You may be surprised by the answer!

Remember, an exit interview is positive and crucial to your business not just an extended farewell.


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For more information, contact Amy Hutcheson on 01254 239363 or email [email protected]