Employee exit interviews are hard. But what’s even harder is to find the relevant exit interview questions.
But precisely what are exit interview questions?
An exit interview is conducted by the human resource manager when an employee wants to leave the company. The questions asked during the exit interview are called exit interview questions.
An exit interview can be monumental in uncovering your company’s shortcomings and gather some constructive feedback in the process.
But here’s the thing.
A departing employee can still be the company's advocate in the long run. A good exit interview is a good stepping stone to achieve this objective, especially if the employee is leaving in a disgruntled state. And to conduct exit interviews effectively, you need to know what questions to target.
See the connection here?
Now that we've established the value of asking the relevant exit interview questions, let's look at what you should keep in mind while putting the questions forward.
Dos And Don’ts Of Asking Exit Interview Questions
There are no hard and fast rules here. Instead, consider the following guidelines as a baseline for formulating questions for your next exit interview.
- Opt for asking more open-ended questions. It grants exiting employees the flexibility to give their honest feedback.
- Exiting employees feel comfortable when the questions are asked in a polite, civil, and friendly manner.
- Give exiting employees the freedom to choose the time, date, or form (virtual or face-to-face) of the exit interview. It will improve the employee exit experience.
- Don’t try to convince them to stay.
- Don’t force any employees to answer questions that they don't want to.
- While asking the questions, avoid naming or requesting the names of anyone, such as bosses or peers.
- In other cases, asking a direct question about why the employee decided to leave will be counterproductive. If the actual cause is a company’s vulnerability, they will almost certainly avoid answering the question.
List Of 100 Best Exit Interview Questions That Every Human Resource Leader Needs To Know
In this article, we will be listing down some targeted questions that can help reveal what is affecting your employee retention efforts.
But remember, the goal is not to grill exiting employees about their reasons for leaving or about asking them to stay. It is to gather constructive feedback and valuable information to know about your organization’s strengths and weaknesses.
Such data can help you analyze what you are doing wrong and start making an action plan immediately.
So, take a seat and jot down the questions you believe will be helpful in conducting exit interviews.
Reasons Why They Left?
Yes, it is not a good idea to downright ask people why they are leaving. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t try to identify the root of the cause. Here are some exit interview questions that help you do so:
- What made you decide on your new job over other opportunities?
- What is the best thing about working here?
- What part of your job made you feel stressed out and anxious?
- What changes should be made to the pay and benefits policy right now?
- Did you feel psychologically safe, happy, and respected while working here?
- If there is one thing you could change about the company culture, what would it be?
- Did you enjoy coming to work?
- What factors or changes might convince you to come back to work for this company in the future?
- Do you think that management practices here need any improvement?
- Were there enough career growth opportunities for you to develop professionally?
If there is one thing that the pandemic taught us, it is how much people love remote working and the sense of personal freedom that comes with it.
42% of current remote workers say if their employer doesn’t continue to offer remote work options long-term, they’ll look for a job at a company that does.
That clearly signifies that most workplaces don’t quite get the whole work-life balance aspect right.
Do yours do? Let’s find out.
Here are some exit interview questions to help you determine if the reason behind an employee leaving an organization is due to a lack of work-life balance:
- Was it hard to manage your personal and professional life?
- Did you have to stay late often or take your work home?
- Which form of working arrangement made you the most satisfied and productive?
- Did work or the work environment made you feel burnt out?
- Do you think that the leave structure is fair and inclusive?
- Did you miss important personal experiences because of work?
- How often did you had to put work over your personal life?
- On a scale of 1-10, how good is the work-life balance at this company?
- Were you able to take regular breaks to refresh yourself during a typical workday?
- What advice do you have for us to help our employees achieve a better work-life balance?
Job Description And Responsibilities
It’s essential to understand if the job role of the exiting employee was satisfactory and met their career expectations.
- Does the initial job description match the duties and responsibilities that you had to undertake?
- Did you get timely and constructive feedback about your work?
- What do you think about the current performance management process?
- Were the goals and objectives realistic and achievable?
- Did you have adequate access to resources and tools needed to complete a particular task?
- What changes would you make in the job description for your replacement?
- What qualities should we look for in your replacement?
- Which part of your job role made your employee experience unsatisfactory?
- Do you believe this job role provided you with adequate development opportunities?
- Did the job role allow you the autonomy to make critical decisions?
Team Collaboration And Communication
Teamwork makes the dream work. And the opposite of it can genuinely make work-life challenging to endure.
Needless to say, it’s crucial that an employee can connect, relate, and empathize with their team members. It can quite literally shape how they work and their mental health too.
So, if there is a rotten apple in the team, here are some exit interview questions to help you find out the issue:
- Did you feel happy and positive while working with your team members?
- Did you work best alone or with your team?
- What were your team’s strongest points?
- What were your team’s shortcomings?
- Did you frequently receive or give praise for doing a good job?
- What was your biggest challenge for working in a team?
- Do you think that your team needs stronger leadership or more autonomy?
- What has been your team’s greatest challenge towards achieving bigger goals?
- Were there any communication challenges among your team members?
- What advice would you offer to your replacement if they wish to be accepted by the team?
The company culture can truly make or break the employee experience.
While positive culture can inspire great work, a toxic culture can be detrimental to the overall employee experience.
Here are some exit interview questions to help you find out where your company’s culture stands:
- What are the shortcomings of our current company culture?
- What are the strengths of our current culture?
- Does our company culture encourage respect and safety for all employees?
- What is the state of office politics in our company?
- Do you feel that there is unhealthy competition among peers in the company?
- If you had to describe our company culture in three words, what would they be?
- Do you think that trust and teamwork are an integral part of our company culture?
- What tips would you give us to prioritize diversity and inclusion in our company?
- Did you feel psychologically safe while working here?
- Do you have any suggestions on how we can make our company culture more engaging?
People don’t quit jobs. They quit bosses.
Surprisingly, the above-mentioned iconic quote appears to be true.
According to a Gallup survey,
Managers influence at least 75% of the reasons for voluntary turnover.
Does this stand true for the long line of employees leaving your company? Here are some exit interview questions for your next exiting employee:
- Were you respected and valued by your boss?
- Did your manager treat you fairly and without any judgment?
- Did your manager give you timely and constructive feedback?
- How efficiently did your manager handle your performance reviews?
- Were you micromanaged?
- Did your manager have your back during challenging times?
- Did your manager give you the necessary support to achieve your goals?
- When you decided to leave, did you consult your manager about it?
- What kind of leader would you describe your manager as?
- Did your manager set you up for success?
According to Gallup:
Career advancement contributes to 32% of those voluntarily quitting jobs.
So, if your company doesn’t allow the space for employees to grow, learn, and upskill, the chances are that this might be the reason for your low employee retention rates.
- Did you get the necessary training and development opportunities while working for us?
- What does our current training program lack?
- Were you able to fulfill your personal goals along with the company goals?
- Do you feel that the current handling of promotion criteria is fair and unbiased right now?
- What new upskilling and development opportunities should we introduce?
- Do you think the onboarding and training process of new employees is adequate?
- Is the company being innovative enough currently?
- Did you find your job role to be stagnant with no growth?
- Is the quality of training that we provide on par with industry standards?
- Did you receive timely, frequent, and constructive feedback on your performance?
Diversity And Inclusion
Post-2020, no company can afford to ignore the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
In a recent Monster survey,
83% of Gen Z candidates said that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important when choosing an employer.
Pretty soon, the lack of it can drive an employee away from your organization too.
So, do you think that your employees are happy enough with your current DE&I policies? Let’s find out through these exit interview questions:
- Do you think that our current diversity and inclusion policies are good enough?
- What changes in the hiring process would you like to see in terms of diversity and inclusion?
- Do you think that our official documentation often uses incorrect or masculine pronouns?
- Are all employees addressed by their preferred pronouns?
- Do you think that the company is doing enough to make the workplace accessible to people with disabilities?
- Do you think that inclusion will be benefitted from having more leaders from underrepresented groups?
- What tips would you give to us to prioritize diversity, inclusion, and equity?
- Have you actively seen your peer being discriminated against or mistreated because of their identity?
- What DE&I policies would you have us introduce?
- Do you think that our company culture has diversity but lack inclusion?
According to a study on workplace engagement in the U.S., disengaged employees cost organizations around $450-550 billion each year.
Thus, it’s safe to say that employee engagement is crucial to retaining your best workers. With the following exit interview questions, you can find out where you are doing wrong with your engagement efforts. Rewards and recognition, employee opinions and empowerment, or employee benefits?
- Were you timely appreciated for your achievements and contributions by your manager?
- Did your team members appreciate each other for their accomplishments?
- Did you receive the incentives that you wanted after an exceptional work performance?
- Is the employee benefits package we offer satisfactory?
- Do you think our company offers competitive compensation for your role?
- What is your opinion about the feedback culture of our company?
- Do you think that there is any favoritism regarding offering incentives or certain benefits?
- Were you satisfied and happy with the work you were doing?
- Do you think that your opinions and viewpoints were taken into consideration?
Remote, work-from-home and other flexible work arrangements have quickly become the “new normal.”
With how the pandemic is proceeding and general public sentiments, it looks like flexible work is here to stay.
In that scenario, is your company doing enough to provide an excellent remote employee experience? Here are some questions to help you find out:
- Do you think flexible and remote work options should be made available for the long run?
- What has been your experience while working from home?
- How should the company increase employee engagement and motivation among remote workers?
- Is the corporation doing enough to enable everyone to understand how to use digital tools?
- Does remote work make work-life balance more good or bad, according to you?
- Do you think that collaboration and communication suffer when the whole team is remote?
- What is the best thing about working from home?
- What is the worst thing about working from home?
- Do you think that we have a reliable work-from-home policy?
- What changes can we make in our work-from-home policy to make the employee experience better?
Attracting good employees is tough. But employee retention is even more complicated.
Many human resource managers will see the act of an employee leaving an organization to be a loss. And it is.
But with the relevant employee exit interview questions, you can collect valuable information and prevent this from happening again in the future.
So, while conducting exit interviews, use the extensive list of questions above to determine the actual reason behind your employee's decision to leave.