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Getting an exit interview right can be extremely beneficial. Asking the right questions to get the best actionable insights into an employee’s decision to leave allows for company development in real time. Some of the best exit interview questions focus on a range of topics like company culture and employee benefits, just to name a couple. Whatever the exiting employee has to say, the key insights gained should pave the way for some positive change for current and future employees.

Harvesting honest feedback while someone is on their way out can yield quality and candid learnings which can be used to increase overall job satisfaction. Tips around timing, tone, and other factors important to the exit interview can be found here. Those tips, coupled with some examples of exit interview questions below, will make wrapping up the offboarding process seamless.

Be sure to touch on a range of topics in your questions. While keeping the exit interview on the brief side, not surpassing an hour of time, really focus on what has driven this person to resign. Maybe the person conducting the exit interview thought the company was more aligned with current expectation and culture, when in turn, it’s not. Below are some examples of effective exit interview questions that are centered around popular topics.

Work/Life Balance and Benefits

Benefits have always been very important to employees, but that list of benefits is always expanding. The balance between work and someone’s personal life, for example, has been a major topic of conversation as of late. Ensure that you gain insight into how the departing employee feels about your policies:

  • “Do you feel that our benefits package is competitive?”
  • “Do you think we have an appropriate focus on mental health?”
  • “What could have been done better to improve employee morale?”
  • “How would you describe the quality of work/life balance?”
  • “How can we improve our DEI efforts?”

Role Centric Questions

It’s possible that the very nature of the employee’s job was the problem. Find out their views with questions like:

  • “Do you feel like the job description changed?”
  • “Is there a particular position that is needed in your team which does not yet exist?”
  • “Do you feel like you received the proper training for your role?”
  • “Was there suitable recognition for a job well done?”

Culture and Teamwork

Sometimes values or even personalities don’t align. Find out how the leaving employee feels about your company culture, and the one created within their team:

  • “How would you describe your relationship with your coworkers?”
  • “Does your team work effectively together?”
  • “Do you feel supported and/or challenged by your boss?”
  • “Do you know the company’s values, and do you respond well to them?”

General Questions

More general or open ended questions could also yield useful answers. Ask about:

  • “What are some examples of ways the company could perform more effectively?”
  • “If certain changes were implemented today, would you stay or recommend others to apply?”
  • “What company guidelines or standards were at all hard to understand or comply with?”

Use these questions as guidelines to gain specific examples of areas that need improvement. You can also approach a written survey to a departing employee for their exit interview in the same way.

No one enjoys when people resign, but learning from that employee’s decision to leave can be the best way to retain talent in the future with new employees and better company policies.

If you’re in need of help with your hiring efforts, please reach out to our expert consultants or submit a job description. For more management insights, please browse our advice section.

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