Management December 5, 2016 Last updated December 1st, 2016 2,018 Reads share

6 Lessons Businesses Can Learn By Conducting Exit Interviews

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Break-ups are tough and that is true not only in one’s personal life but also on the professional front. Whatever may be the case, the only way to resolve issues and move on with your life is by having open communication. Not only does it help both parties involved (business and employee) in getting a final closure that they deserve but also gives perspective on things. Although the metaphor used here may be a little too dramatic, but you have got to admit that not all employees leave organizations for more money or a better position. Employers deal with a lot of employees and not everybody thinks alike. For some money matters the most, while there are some who want to reach a good position early in their career.

In short, there are different reasons that may convince individuals to leave an organization. And as an employer, you can learn a great deal from these reasons. Though many of the reasons may not be feasible from a business perspective but they will still give you an idea about what went wrong, where you are falling short in terms of employee satisfaction and what your rival companies are doing right that is attracting the talent from your organization to join them. You wouldn’t know it until you ask and that is why Exit Interviews play a very important role.

Lessons Businesses Can Learn By Conducting Exit Interviews

Here are a few lessons you can learn by conducting exit interviews with the employees leaving your company.

#1. Detect Negative Trends

Companies spend a substantial amount of time and resources to recruit, interview and train new employees. This means that the revenue lost when these employees leave the company is also large. When exit interviews are included as a final employee engagement activity during the exit formalities, companies can collect a wealth of information that can help them improve. Businesses can keep a track of the outcome of exit interviews and over a period of time examine these outcomes to identify trends and patterns related to why people are leaving their company.

#2. Take Action to Improve

Once you have identified these negative trends you can start taking concrete actions towards correcting them and improve employee satisfaction. This will result in lesser turnover and you will save a lot of your valuable time and money.

#3. Highlight Employee’s Issues

Exit interviews can bring your notice to a lot of burning issues that the employees may be facing. For example, most of the time organizations don’t realize that they are failing to offer a good work-life balance to the employees. More than anything, the information gathered during exit interviews can help businesses in addressing the problem areas within their organizational structure and prevent more resignations from coming their way.

#4. Identify High Turnover Departments

From the financial perspective, exit interviews can help you discover the reasons behind turnover being particularly high in certain departments of your organization. You can further utilize this discovery for identifying the problem areas in other departments. Many employees face issues with the management or feel that their salary package is not in line with the industry standards.

#5. Stop Negative Feelings

Many job seekers decide to join a company based on the experiences shared by their friends and family. If they hear negative reviews, they will not join your company. An exit interview acts as a great opportunity for businesses to sort out issues due to which an employee might have decided to leave the company. It can help both the parties to at least end things on a cordial note. This will stop employees to speak negatively about your company with others.

#6. Receive Management Reviews

Exit interviews also give businesses a peek into an individual’s perception of their management. It is often very difficult to get a true sense of how employees actually feel about the work environment. That’s because they are employed with you and don’t want to offend their supervisors. You might think that since there are no complaints your management is doing a great job by providing a good work environment and keeping the employees happy. However, the results of an exit interview may reveal a different story altogether. Sitting in an exit interview, employees are no longer afraid to share their actual views once they have decided to part ways.

It is a great way to gather feedback on managers from soon-to-be-former employees. This will give you a clear picture of the kind of relationship members of a certain team shares with their direct manager. It is a well-known fact that most people leave their jobs because of their managers. An exit interview can help you determine whether that is the case with your organization or not. If yes, you can address the issues before more people start resigning.


Most organizations don’t realize just how beneficial exit interviews can be to them. If you too share the same views, ponder over the above-mentioned benefits once again. Not taking exit interviews seriously means that you are happy to live in oblivion, which means taking an easy way out. What takes courage is to accept one’s shortcomings and it is the right approach to adopt. Only then will you be able to find out about the problem and actual  aspiration of your workforce.

It’s time you face the truth by getting to know the real reasons behind people leaving your company. No company is perfect. However, a company that accepts this fact and takes it upon itself to improve is the one that employees stick with. Such a company can also boast of its happy employee, of being an efficient workplace and stats that will indicate towards a high retention of talent.

You may not be able to change an employee’s mind through an exit interview and ideally, you shouldn’t. That is not the idea behind holding exit interviews, as in most cases it is usually too late to address an employee’s concern. But, if you really listen to them carefully and do what needs to be done, you would be able to make exit interviews a less common event in your organization.

Image: Exit Interview Checklist written on notebook – business conceptual

Megha Raizada

Megha Raizada

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