It’s inevitable. No matter how much time and effort you put into retention strategies, employees are going to leave.
One way to retain employees is to understand why they are leaving your organization in the first place. Knowing the ins and outs of your organization allows you to develop a culture where employees want to work.
To get to the heart of any issues, it’s important to conduct exit interviews.
While there is a lot that goes into an exit interview – timing, delivery method, data aggregation – they wouldn’t be possible without a solid list of open-ended questions.
These exit interview questions will help you dig deeper into your organization and develop plans to combat issues regarding overall business, management, benefits, and culture.
Business-Related Sample Questions
These exit interview sample questions can help you gauge the employee’s overall perception of the company.
1. What ultimately led you to accept the new position?
While this sample question will give you varied answers, since each employee leaves for their own reason, it will position you against another company to see how you compare.
2. Under what circumstances, if any, would you consider coming back to the organization?
Employees don’t want to burn any bridges, so this is a good question to ask to gauge what they are truly looking for. Knowing the alternatives to retain high-performing employees is crucial to growing in the future.
Management-Related Sample Questions
Asking these sample questions will lead to insights on how your managers are interacting with employees and if the employees felt properly trained.
3. What things could your manager have done better?
Management issues are one of the most common reasons people decide to leave their current roles. It’s essential to find out if there’s anything you can do to improve the way managers are leading your employees.
4. Do you believe your work was adequately recognized and appreciated?
Recognizing and appreciating employees not only falls on the company overall, but on the managers as well.
Employees want to feel appreciated and recognized for their achievements. Tracking this information will help you help employees be more productive and motivated to achieve their goals.
Benefits-Related Sample Questions
Asking about benefits can help you see if what you are offering is on par with other companies in the market, what employees are looking for, and how to best adapt to recruit top talent.
5. What does your new position offer that helped influence your decision to leave?
The answer to this question could indicate specifics of where your company is lacking regarding benefits. It might be flexible work schedules, better pay, company culture, or better benefits.
6. Did you have the adequate training, tools, and resources you needed to effectively do your job?
Growth, development, and training from an organization is important to employees, so understanding how they feel about the support they get is crucial. This will help you narrow down what kinds of investments to make in the future, such as how you can better prepare employees to do their jobs or what skill gaps need to be addressed.
Culture-Related Sample Questions
Managing a team of any size or shape means taking care of workplace relationships, company policies, and work culture. Having a positive workplace culture attracts talent, drives engagement, impacts happiness, and affects performance, so knowing how employees feel about it will in turn drive decisions in the future.
7. How would you describe our company culture?
You’ve likely worked hard to develop a vibrant culture in your organization, so understanding how your employees view it gives you a strong idea of how your efforts are paying off.
8. What was the best/worst part of your job?
Each employee will have a different answer, but over time, trends in responses will emerge. You can then take that information and highlight the best parts from an employee perspective.
9. How would you improve employee morale?
Every day, your employees are in the thick of things. Living through the job day-to-day gives them unique and valuable insight into morale first-hand.
This question will gauge the current status or morale and what can be done to improve it, and in turn, the overall culture.
And lastly, don’t forget to ask this final question:
10. Do you have any other issues or comments you’d like to address?
This question allows the employee to comment on any topics that you may not have brought up in your exit interview. It could bring to light things that you were not aware of so you can address them moving forward.
Exit interviews give employees a rare opportunity to be completely honest with HR.
By being open to criticism and asking these exit interview questions, you benefit by learning about your organization through the eyes of an employee and can prepare for when people leave in the future.