Fixing The Exit Interview

Nobody likes filling out an exit interview survey. For one thing, if you’ve quit or have been laid off, the last thing you want to do is spend more time thinking about the company you’re leaving—you want to get on with your life. And for another thing, the line between whining/complaining and constructive criticism is hard to see when you’re in an emotional place. Finally, employees aren’t sure whether what they say in an exit interview will bounce back to hurt them someday or whether the company even cares what they think.

HRE Online doesn’t have solutions to all these problems, but the mag does suggest a few ways to improve the process:

-Consider using an online (computer-based) survey rather than an in-person meeting or a paper survey. The number of people who respond to an online exit interview is double that of the number of people who will fill out a paper form.

-Ask the right number of questions. Too many and the employee will give up halfway through; too few and she’ll think you don’t care.

-Make sure to do something with the data rather than just holding on to it; organize by demographic, department, job group, etc.

-Always say thank you.