When an employee leaves your company for voluntary reasons, conducting an exit interview can be very beneficial. During this interview you will ask questions about why the employee has decided to leave as well as ask them for suggestions on how the company can improve.  Having feedback from a former employee who feels that they can speak freely can be very helpful.  Here are some examples of potential questions:

“Were the expectations of the position clearly communicated to you?”

“How would you describe your average workload?”

“What do you think of the current benefits package?”

“Did you have enough growth opportunities in the position?”

The interview will be most beneficial if it is conducted by someone other than the employee’s supervisor or the owner. The interview should also be held in a private place or somewhere out of the office altogether, like a coffee shop. You may even want to consider hiring an agency to conduct the interview. There will be an added cost but you can be assured that the interview is being conducted by a skilled interviewer who is also a neutral third party.

When conducting the interview, you should be sure that the former employee understands that their feedback will be used to improve the company overall and it will not be used against them if they try to seek a reference later. In fact, it’s best to keep the responses anonymous, although that’s almost impossible for small businesses with low turnover.

If you compile the data you receive from several interviews you will probably start to see some trends.  This is the information you should focus on when writing job descriptions, conducting interviews and reviewing benefits.

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