Slideshow 6 tips for conducting exit interviews

  • June 16 2017, 11:26am EDT
9 Images Total

6 tips for conducting exit interviews

Exit interviews may be an untapped source of information for benefit managers to analyze and make changes to programs that may be underperforming or in need of revamping to be better used.


A little more than 60% of employers say they heed employees’ parting words from exit interviews, with 19% and 5% saying they make changes to salaries and benefits, respectfully, according to staffing firm OfficeTeam.

Content Continues Below

A silver lining

"The only silver lining to losing employees is obtaining useful feedback to help stem further turnover," says Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. "Departing workers can provide valuable insights that current staff may be reluctant to share.” To maximize this one-time opportunity here are the dos and don’ts for conducting successful exit interviews, according to OfficeTeam.

Do time it well.

Consider scheduling the meeting on one of the worker's last days. Keep the conversation brief and professional.

Do be upfront.

Explain that any information provided can help to better the organization and will be kept confidential.

Content Continues Below

Do cover the right topics.

Ask general questions about why the worker is leaving, what the person liked and disliked at the company, and recommendations for improvements.

Don't make it awkward.

Because departing employees may be uncomfortable discussing certain subjects with their immediate supervisor, have an HR representative conduct one-on-one meetings in a private setting.

Don't get defensive.

Avoid correcting or confronting the person. Listen carefully and gather as many details as possible.

Content Continues Below

Don't brush things off.

Give all comments that are shared the proper attention. Also check for patterns in feedback collected from employees, which can signal persistent problems.