Don’t forget about exit interviews!

There’s nothing new about conducting an exit interview, but I feel in these times of falsely inflated retention rates, the process has fallen by the wayside.  If your employees are resigning without having another position lined up, there is still a retention problem within your organization, regardless of your retention rate.

An employee who resigns is often out of sight, out of mind and it’s easy to dismiss them from the forefront of your mind. Bottom-line, there’s always a reason behind turnover.  If you don’t ask, how will you ever know why employees are leaving and what you could have done to avert it? 

It’s best to discover what drives employees to quit before they actually do.  However, oftentimes, employees are most frank once they know they will not have to face his/her manager; once they’ve made the decision to resign or have been terminated.  This doesn’t mean that you should neglect these sensitive conversations in the new hire and on-boarding phases of employment.  Regardless, handling these sensitive conversations with anonymity proves most successful in gleaning genuine responses. 

You may be surprised to find trends within your organization.  For example, employees from Environmental Services just may be leaving for the exact same reasons as Physicians – the benefits package is just not sufficient enough.  Or, you may discover why you can’t retain RNs for more than one year – their manager does not see eye-to-eye with the staff.  Trends are easily identifiable via exit interviews and there are always initiatives that can be implemented to alleviate your employees’ frustrations. 

The majority, 73.4% of exiting employees surveyed by TMP Worldwide in 2009 claimed they would consider returning to work for their former employer.  Our data indicates that not all is lost.  Employers are able to rehire these departed employees, saving dollars that would have been spent on training entirely new employees.  But, in order to attract these seasoned veterans of your organization, you’ll need to make the necessary changes within your company to convince them the employment experience will improve the second (or maybe third) time around.  But, how will you know what to fix if you don’t ask?

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Thomas Delorme
Written by Thomas Delorme

VP, Digital Products & Strategy

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