Friday, February 13, 2009

Exit Interviews Help in Retention Efforts

In today’s virtual corporate world, companies are turning more toward exit interviews in order to retain good workers.

Exit interviews give an opportunity for a company to find out why there is a problem and fix it. Companies can also learn a tonne of information if they conduct the exit interviews correctly. Further, they can also be used as a catalyst for change. Interestingly, a growing number of HR professionals in India are acting on the information gathered during exit interviews and also responding to the feedback from exit interviews.

According to a study, larger companies, in India and abroad, tend to do a better job than smaller companies do with exit interviews. Because, they have HR departments who take it more seriously. The HR practitioners are schooled in how to do the exit interviews. In the case of smaller companies, they either know what is going on and don't want to fix it. Or, they can't.

An exit interview is a very good opportunity to find out how to recruit and retain employees. At some companies exit interviews are done for two reasons: One is to communicate information to an employee about what happens to their benefits and checking account. The other reason is to get information about the experience they had working for the company. These companies try to separate on a good note.

To make an exit interview successful, the trick is to make the exiting employee comfortable. An effective exit interview can be done by:

  • Making it clear that the information will not be used against exiting workers.
  • Explain that their insight can help improve the organisation.
  • Bosses should consider using a third party to conduct the exit interview. Even an employee who is leaving may feel uncomfortable discussing certain topics, such as office politics, with his or her current supervisor.
  • The company should never ignore an exiting employee's claim of mistreatment or discrimination. The bosses should ask the right questions, which are open-ended and general at first, but specific later.

Studies have found that some companies don't follow through with the information gleaned from exit interviews. The information that the organisations get may never end up as data. They never look for trends. To avoid this, it's important to think systematically with exit interviews. Conduct exit surveys, exit interviews, and in some cases, do follow-up interviews.

There is strategic value in exit interviews, as companies can better understand as to why employees leave. This helps them to become good employers in future.

Ref: TheManageMentor

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