An exit interview is a type of job evaluation that is conducted during or after the termination of a human resources relationship. It is typically used to gather information on how the employee performed and what impact their behavior had. Exit interview definition is used quite often in the business world.
An exit interview is a type of employee evaluation that is conducted during or after the termination of a human resources relationship. It is typically used to gather information on how the employee performed and what impact their behavior had. Exit interview definition is used quite often in the business world. Exit interviews are generally conducted as part of termination negotiations, when an employer wants to give non-compete agreements to employees, when an employer wants to know why an employee was terminated and whether they will be rehired, when an employer wants to make sure a co-worker’s departure won’t sever a key relationship, or any other reason.
Exit interviews can be beneficial for both employers and employees if they are conducted effectively, meaning that the information being gathered will be reliable, factual, compelling, defensible and well documented. The general process begins with either explicit or tacit agreement among managers that an exit interview should occur. Their intent might be to use it as a strategy for improving performance or recognizing behaviors that need improvement after terminating employees.
1. The initial step is to decide how to structure the exit interview.
If the exit interview is being conducted in conjunction with a termination, it is usually conducted by HR but can also be done by line or supervisory management. If the interview is being conducted after a resignation, it should be conducted by HR or line management (and not in front of other co-workers). If the employee agrees to an exit interview, have one-on-one conversations that are informal and invite employees to speak freely and honestly. This type of exit interview definition can work well if you will be documenting the results.
“Make it clear from the outset, you want to understand why an employee is leaving and what you can do to keep them from leaving in the future. Your goal is to gather specific information and suggestions on what can be improved,” says Heidi Mitchell, who leads the human resources practice at Charles River Associates. “If the employee wants to remain anonymous, share the information with other employees in a way that protects confidentiality.”
Even if they have not decided on a replacement, employers must find out why an employee’s leaving and get their input on whether they are happy or dissatisfied with their jobs. If they don’t take this step, it leaves room for speculation.
2. Review exit interview definition options.
The following are some options for conducting an exit interview. These options work best when you want to find out specific information, such as why employees quit or what their complaints were about benefits or training programs, and not just general feedback.
Use a checklist to record results from face-to-face interviews that are conducted individually. This is usually done in the form of a survey or questionnaire and helps you better understand how information can be gathered easily and efficiently. Obviously, this option works best if you have time to compile the information into a report that can be used later on by management.
Ask employees to fill out a questionnaire before they leave their jobs. This is one method that can be used in either a structured or unstructured way. In a structured exit interview definition, the employee is given a list of questions to answer about their work performance, goals and expectations for the future that are relevant to the position. Use an unstructured approach if you want to gather more specific information from employees as part of an exit interview definition. For example, ask employees how they were treated or whether they received adequate training for key skills involved in their jobs. Do not use this approach when any confidential information has been shared.
3. Consider creating an exit interview definition workbook.
The following tools can be used to help you create an exit interview definition workbook:
Using a spreadsheet and data collection worksheet, write down the employee’s name, position, dates of employment, and all pertinent information about their job performance and behaviors. This will make it easier for managers who are conducting interviews to review the information later on.
Use a simple language survey, writing your questions on one or two pages and making sure there is space on each page for employees to answer each question in as much detail as possible. You should also include a place for them to check the appropriate box next to yes or no responses to the questions.