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Strategic Exit Interviews

Posted by Main, Kerrie at Tuesday, 06/26/2012 2:37 pm
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Nobscot Corporation recently sponsored a webinar, “Strategic Exit Interviews: Cutting Edge Practices in Exit Interview Management.” It was hosted by Laura DiFlorio, who presented a comprehensive overview of the exit interview process and how HR professionals can reduce turnover through the use of their exit data. It also covered a wide scope of exit interview tips and tactics that HR professionals can use, no matter the size or industry of their organizations.

Turnover Myths

Before jumping into the mechanics of how all organizations can get these types of results through strategic exit interviewing, Laura addressed a few common myths about exit interviews.

1. Once a person puts in his/her resignation, it’s too late. Exit interviews come too late.

The problem with this myth is that many people are confused about the true purpose of exit interviews. Exit interviews are not about the individual people leaving – they are about the organization. They are used not to “save” the resigning employee, organizations can use them to find out information about their company and gather honest feedback so that they can PREVENT other people from leaving.

2. No one is honest in an exit interview.

This myth perpetrates the idea that resigning employees will not be honest in their exit interviews due to fear of burning bridges. Some HR professionals think it’s better to just do employee surveys in lieu of exit interviews. However, the truth is that resigning employees have a lot less to lose by being honest than current employees. According to a Nobscot survey on the topic, 60% of the people said they’d be honest in an employee survey, while 80% of them said they would be likely or very likely to be honest in an exit interview.

Five Main Objectives of Exit Interviews

There are a wide variety of reasons why companies should conduct exit interviews, and here are some of the main ones:

1. Identify why people leave/stay

This reason is typically the most obvious argument for implementing an exit interview process. It is very important for HR departments to find out if their assumptions match up with reality. Exit data allows HR professionals to go to their higher ups with hard data in hand in order to begin to address the organization’s specific issues.

2. Get ideas to improve the organization

HR professionals can gather a wide variety of ideas from exit interviews that they can then use to improve productivity. Some items will be very easy to implement. Many employees will also give the organization ideas about how particular problems can be solved.

3. Early warning risk management detector

Organizations can use exit interviews as tools to identify potential workplace hazards and problems, such as discrimination, sexual harassment and workplace violence. They can use the information to identify brewing problems before they get out of hand and lead to expensive litigation.

4. Measure the success of diversity initiatives

Companies that have these types of programs in place can use exit interview questions to identify what is working and what is not. They can aggregate the data into demographics, such as by race, gender or age to see if all groups are experiencing the workplace the same.

5. Target management training

Some managers are great, and others may need additional training. Exit interview data can help pinpoint which managers may need some extra training or help to get up to par with the rest of the organization.

To read the entire recap on this informative topic, go to the Nobscot website at

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