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Understanding employee turnover: the exit interview

In this blog, we’ll explore why employees leave companies, the importance of strategic offboarding and the advantages of outsourcing exit interview duties to a third-party provider.

After all, high employee turnover is costly and disruptive for any company.

Why might an employee leave a company?

There are many possible reasons an employee may be in the market for new opportunities. Perhaps they’re ready for a change of industry. They may have received a lucrative offer from a competing firm. Perhaps they’re in pursuit of a more favourable work-life balance or perhaps a sour relationship or toxic work environment has driven them away. 

It’s hard to know. 

Enter the exit interview.

The purpose of an exit interview is to gain feedback from the departing employee about their experience working for the company. During the interview, an interviewer may ask questions about the reasons for the employee’s departure, their level of job satisfaction, their relationship with coworkers and managers, and any suggestions they may have for improving the company’s operations or culture

Exit interviews are most often conducted in-house via the HR department. Unfortunately, typical employee offboarding processes often fail to accurately capture what departing employees actually think about their on-the-job experiences. 

There are several reasons for this: perhaps the outgoing employee is uncomfortable providing full and frank feedback to someone they know personally. Outgoing employees may be hesitant to share candid feedback if they feel it could harm their future job prospects or relationship with their former employer. Some organisations are under-resourced; some just don’t know what to do with the data they’ve collected. Perhaps HR staff have biases that impact their ability to objectively evaluate feedback. 

Again, it’s hard to know. 

The third-party advantage

An effective exit interview program will provide accurate and timely insight into what outgoing employees are really thinking, revealing potential or real problems in the organisation, and shedding light on the competitive landscape.

Third-party exit interview providers do this best.

“Regardless of method, the effectiveness of an exit interview program should be measured by the positive change it generates,” says the HBR. “An external consultant typically has several advantages over an internal interviewer, including expertise in exit interviewing and a complete lack of bias, so he or she is more likely to produce reliable data”.

Anonymity works. A third-party provider ensures confidentiality, encouraging employees to be forthcoming with their feedback.  

The exit interview outsourced

“By outsourcing the exit interview process to an impartial third party, organisations can create a safe space for employees to share their feedback without fear of judgment,” says Krysia Grant, a Wairarapa-based HR expert with more than 30 years of experience in the field. 

“This encourages outgoing employees to provide more honest and constructive feedback, which can be incredibly valuable for improving the company’s overall culture and practices.”

Grant leads Report It Now’s new third-party Exit Interview service, ensuring an empathetic, independent interview process that generates genuine insights. 

“The goal of conducting exit interviews is to gain insight into different aspects of the employee experience so that an organisation can make changes that can improve their overall success. That means happier, more productive staff, and an ethical, honest company culture, which ultimately has a positive impact on the bottom line.” 

“Third-party exit interview services like Report It Now provide the specialised expertise and support that you need to do that.”

“We can collect, analyse and interpret your outgoing employee’s feedback and work with you to make an action plan that will help you stay ahead of the employee engagement and retention curve, which in turn will build a culture of continuous improvement.”

Report It Now’s Exit Interview service is available now. Contact us to find out more.

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