BY Judah Hirsch Uncategorized
“I hate interviews—but you have to do them,” Jackie Chan once quipped. Interviewing people is both taxing and hard in the head and, sometimes, in the heart. Not only is it needed for the interviewer to be mentally and physically prepared to ask probing questions and take note of all the answers all day, the interviewer must also be emotionally primed to screen and let go of people who did not qualify for the positions despite his or her personal preferences. But if conducting interviews of hundreds of people in order to select a qualified few for available positions is hard, I personally believe that conducting exit interviews is harder. Letting go and saying goodbye to people whom you have known and have interacted with for 5 to 6 days a week is indeed heartbreaking. An exit interview is the last hurrah, the end of a long professional relationship. However, terrible or hateful as it may sometimes be, you have to still conduct exit interviews.
Why are your employees leaving? Such Exit interviews are extremely important and useful opportunities to learn about both the strengths and weaknesses of the manager and the organization as well as to help understand how best to satisfy and retain the remaining employees. Though some managers know they should do exit interviews, every so often when someone resigns they are focused on finding a replacement and figuring out a transition strategy with their team, while also managing their busy workloads. This should not be the case because conducting exit interviews can be a valuable experience for any organization.
An exit interview is important to gain valuable information which can prove to be useful in all aspects of the work environment, including aspects such as the work culture, day to day concerns, processes, issues around management style, workplace ethics and employee morale. Also, an exit interview will give the company the opportunity to get the opinions of those leaving the company in terms of how they perceive the company, and most importantly, why they would want to leave the company. Employees who have already handed in their resignation are far more likely to open up and be honest when asked to provide constructive criticism in terms of how they perceive the company, the way such company is run, its culture, its management style, the opportunities offered for career growth, etc. Such honest and candid feedback, free of inhibitions and worry in terms of job security, will likely be more accurate than the monthly or yearly evaluations each department of the corporation submits. By examining and keeping track of the outcome of exit interviews over a period of time, the company can begin to identify trends and patterns over time as to the consistent reasons why people are leaving the company. It also gives the company the opportunity to discover why turnover may be particularly high in certain departments, and to identify problem areas such as management issues, or whether the company’s remuneration offered is maybe not in line with their competitors. An exit interview will also give the employer the opportunity to sort out issues with those leaving the company on bad terms. Employees are given opportunities to get whatever issues they have out in the open where they can be discussed and hopefully resolved. Disgruntled ex-employees who feel that they were maligned and unjustly treated can be sources of negative feedback and opinions regarding the company image and reputation. We can never know what such former employees will be in the future and it would be a sad day indeed if such persons will be the decision makers or breakers of future deals and transactions with other potential partner companies. Exit interviews, thus, are still relevant and are as important as ever not only for the employees who are leaving but more significantly for the company itself.