In 2018, job resignation rose for the 6th consecutive year. With more job available (like the 312,000 jobs added to the market in December 2018) employees aren’t as afraid to take a voluntary leap and leave their jobs.
With jobs opening up weekly, and fewer active job seekers on the market, employee retention is becoming critical for companies.
But in business, everything that happens, both good and bad, presents an opportunity to make your company, processes or systems better. And while you may not typically think of voluntary employee resignations as having any positive benefit, if you play your exit interview cards right, you can glean some vital information that can help improve and refine your retention strategy--and make your company a happier place to be.
Here are 8 key questions you should be asking during the exit interview.
Why are you leaving this job?
Is it your company, the workload, the culture, the management? Knowing why they’re leaving can help you strengthen your business for the better for your remaining (and future) employees.
What circumstances drove to you look for a new job?
Knowing if some particular situation was the breaking point can help you evaluate how you and your team do things now, and how you can improve things.
What could we have done to make you want to stay?
Sometimes it’s as simple as showing appreciation to your employees. Even though one person is on their way out, you’ll want to take them as a case study for how you can implement systems, processes or perks now to keep others on board.
Were you comfortable talking to your manager?
Having an approachable manager is one of the keys to job satisfaction. If your employee is leaving because of poor communication or problems with management, you may need to start changing things from the top.
Is there anything your new company offers that we don’t provide?
Maybe the resignation doesn’t have to do with your company at all, aside from what it lacks. Understanding what is attractive to your people about another company could help you fortify your compensation packages, perks and business in general.
What advice would you give the person who replaces you?
Just because they’re leaving doesn’t mean they don’t want you to succeed. Most likely, they’ll be happy to leave advice for their replacement to help them do their job well.
Did you have the resources, training and tools to do your job effectively?
Having access to what it takes to do the job effectively and properly can go a long way in keeping employees engaged and feeling like they’re succeeding on the job. If they felt tools and resources were lacking, get the pieces in place before you put a replacement in place--and check in to see how your other departments and team members feel about their own available (or lacking) resources.
Were you given clear goals and objectives?
WIthout clear goals, every day can feel purposeless, lacking and leave employees wondering if they’re achieving their potential. Find out if your outgoing employee felt they knew what was expected of them, and what they had to do to succeed. If they felt direction was lacking, consider reviving your onboarding program to give new hires the direction, goals and objectives they need to hit the ground running.