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It’s Time to Flip the Exit Interview Process to Get the Feedback You Need

Ah, the exit interview process. Although seemingly necessary to gather valuable feedback, often both the interviewer and interviewee dread this time together.  And there’s a good reason for that. 

When an employee is ready to leave, they’ve often checked out mentally before physically leaving the job. Or they may be harshly honest, and managers don’t always want to hear such negative feedback. 

It’s time for leaders to explore alternatives to the exit interview process, giving them a better understanding of why team members leave and how such exits play into the well-being of your organization’s workforce and culture. 

Read on to learn more about different methods for collecting employee feedback so that HR teams can gather the current information they need to build a successful team beyond exit interviews.

1. Pre-Hire Assessments

Don’t wait until an employee leaves to gather the needed information. Instead, start before they’re even hired. 

By incorporating pre-hire assessments into your recruitment processes, you can identify applicants who will succeed (and stay) at your organization. Additionally, pre-hire assessments allow you to narrow down your talent pool objectively, allowing you to create objective hiring processes, another gauge of employee engagement and satisfaction. 

2. New Employee Surveys

Survey new employees during their first few months with the organization – or as economist and Wharton professor Adam Grant calls it, “entry interviews.” 

Employees’ first 30-60-90 days are critical to setting them up for success, boosting their engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. Understanding the employee’s thoughts at this early stage can add value to your onboarding process – what works and what doesn’t. 

Additionally, you can learn more about the employees’ expectations and career goals, making sure these are addressed early on – not when it’s too late, such as during the exit interview process. 

With one-third of all new employees leaving in their first year of employment, starting off strong is critical. 

3. Interim Interviews 

Another way to gather critical information is through interim interviews, while employees are happily employed and invested in the organization. This type of feedback request gives leaders needed information, such as whether employees feel like they’re growing in their job or what needs to be improved to make their job more efficient. 

It’s also a way to prioritize your employees, letting them know that their feedback and ideas are valued. Want higher employee engagement?  Implement your employees’ ideas. 

Here are some ways to gather information from your employees while they’re happily employed:

And don’t forget your managers and other leaders.  Be sure to include them in one-on-one interim interviews or engagement surveys.  This is a great way to get in front of hurdles from a leadership perspective.

The Benefits of Flipping the Exit Interview Process

Now, we’re not saying to ditch the exit interview process.  However, regular feedback is more valuable than feedback after the fact. 

Feedback before and during an employee’s tenure can be more focused and individualized (to the employee or position). Additionally, if problems arise, it allows management the opportunity to fix them right then and there – not when an employee is headed out the door.

Understanding the employee’s goals, talents, and knowledge will help leaders use those employees to their fullest potential, which is good for everyone. Further, it helps both managers and leaders map out career progression and succession

With regular data, you can determine what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be further explored.  After all, employee recruitment, engagement, and retention is a fluid cycle – best served with current, accurate data. 

Want to create organizational change with informational feedback from your employees? Contact Cangrade today to learn more.