Employee Exit Interviews
DRAMATICALLY REDUCE EMPLOYEE TURNOVER!
An employee exit interview or exit survey is administered when an employee leaves the organization. Exiting employees can be a source of valuable insights about the level of development opportunities available, sources of organizational dysfunction, and—more generally—perceptions and attitudes about the company and its competitors. The information gleaned from these interviews and surveys can help guide future organizational action. As a result, an organization will be better positioned to make hiring and developmental decisions that will increase its ability to either maintain or develop a competitive edge.
NBRI’s Employee Exit Interviews provide unique insights about the organization from employees who have chosen to leave its employ. When employees voluntarily turnover, this frequently means they perceive an opportunity with a different company as more desirable in some way. Finding out what makes this other job opportunity more desirable is critical to understanding key organizational weaknesses. Were career opportunities limited in some way? Perhaps there were adequate vertical growth opportunities, but not horizontal developmental opportunities? Or perhaps there were greater issues at play, like mismanagement or organizational dysfunction?
If an organization is mismanaged, existing employees may find it difficult to speak out about these issues due to concerns of job security. As a result, this means organizational dysfunction is unlikely to be confronted directly. The result? Disengaged employees, unhappy customers, employee lawsuits, financial losses, and even bankruptcy. A well-designed employee exit interview or survey process can identify areas in the company that are mismanaged, and with NBRI’s ClearPath Analytics and ClearPath Action, these issues can be rectified and major sources of turnover eliminated.
An employee who voluntarily leaves the organization can cost the organization over 150% of their annual salary in:
- Advertising. The cost of advertising for a new open position can be substantial. If exiting employees have a unique skill set, this position is likely to remain open for a longer period of time, driving advertising costs even higher. To ensure the highest-quality talent is accessed, it is often necessary to cast a wide net, so advertising in multiple forums is frequently necessary.
- Recruiting. External recruiters can be extremely costly, and internal recruiters may already be working at capacity. As turnover increases, these costs to the organization can increase exponentially. If recruiters are required to fill multiple positions with similar job descriptions in the same geographic area, the pool of candidates may be insufficient. This may mean that recruiters have to extend their search region and go on the road, further increasing the costs of recruiting. This may increase the costs associated with hiring due to the inclusion of relocation packages.
- Training a replacement. Replacement costs are only one part of the equation. Training a new employee requires time and dedication from existing staff, thereby impacting the immediate productivity of the department. In this period of time, there is a lag before the new hire begins to add value, meaning that costs are not entirely recovered as soon as a position is staffed. Even if training can be accomplished quickly to get a new employee up to speed, it will still take some time to develop an understanding of the company’s social network and learn who manages what in the organization.
- Lost productivity. The typical organization runs lean in respect to the number of employees retained. When somebody leaves, this means there is a full workload that must be assumed by the remaining employees. While it may be possible to “make it work” for a brief period of time, the long-term effect of understaffing is a loss of employee morale and a decrease in quality standards. If underlying organizational problems have caused the initial turnover, work conditions have the potential to become extremely volatile.
- Customer satisfaction issues. Unfortunately, turnover in staffing is frequently related to decreasing levels of satisfaction in the customer base. Relationship continuity between employees and customers is important for the business, because employees are the “face” of the business and have detailed knowledge of customer accounts and preferences. Since personal relationships can drive repeat business, the loss of an employee may mean the loss of a client. In addition, when employees leave, they take a lot of implicit knowledge with them, these are the things that are not easily quantified and require exposure for new hires to learn. For example, understanding how to adapt work strategies to deal with a diverse range of personalities is not something that can be codified or written down, but can mean much for customer retention and satisfaction.
- Declines in sales. New hires often do not have the range of familiarity with product or service offerings to ensure clients are served appropriately. For this reason, employees may not have the necessary level of confidence to recommend products, services, or solutions. When this inexperience is revealed, it can undermine confidence in the business and decrease customer retention rates. In addition, new hires are less likely to recognize opportunities to upsell products or services, leading to further decreases in revenue.
High turnover can create many financial problems for organizations, so understanding the sources of turnover can be incredibly beneficial to sustained organizational health. Employee exit interviews will let you know if turnover is routine or an indicator of a larger problem. By understanding the causes of turnover, an organization can act quickly to stem future exits and rectify existing problems.
High turnover can be conceptualized as both a disease and a symptom, and exit interviews/surveys are a way of obtaining raw and honest data that will permit accurate diagnosis. Using this data, NBRI develops a customized treatment plan for your organization to ensure the loss of good employees is minimized in the future. In this way, exit interviews are a solid investment; by identifying the sources of turnover, the process pays for itself many times over, saves money and can stabilize the workplace, ultimately making the company a better, stronger entity.
When you hire NBRI, you’re hiring more than a company to conduct survey research. You’re hiring a business partner with a sincere interest in the health and success of your company.
Give us a call. We’re confident that you’ll find us a valuable partner capable of fulfilling your survey research needs, and exceeding your expectations.
Employee Exit Interviews Case Study
After experiencing a surge in employee turnover, a Fortune 500 manufacturer retained NBRI to conduct employee exit interview surveys on an ongoing basis to discover the reasons why they were losing employees.
Internal exit interviews, such as those conducted by an organization’s own Human Resources Department, can place former employees in an uncomfortable position. If they are unhappy with the quality of supervision they received during employment, for example, openly stating this to another employee of that same organization can feel a lot like “tattling.” For this reason, it is difficult for employees to candidly share their experiences with interviews that are conducted internally.
To ensure respondents were able to be open and honest about their experiences with the Fortune 500 manufacturer, NBRI conducted the exit surveys by telephone after employees had physically left the premises. This allowed NBRI to collect pure and unbiased data. Often people believe that it is necessary to conduct the interview onsite to ensure high response rates, but this is not the case. NBRI was able to consistently achieve a 95% Confidence Level in the interviews. This high confidence level means that management can be certain the data gathered accurately represented the thinking of the typical exiting employee.
Data analysis revealed that supervision was the overriding factor contributing to employee turnover. NBRI ClearPath Analytics’ provided even greater insight, pinpointing the specific areas where supervisors should be developed to stem employee exits. Specifically, performance evaluations were perceived to be unfair, a perception that led to negative opinions of organizational diversity, discrimination, career advancement, and a host of other issues.
NBRI recommended that the client focus solely on the root cause of performance evaluations, a conclusion that was reached after a thorough analysis of the employee exit interview data. Within six months of increasing employee perceptions of fairness and equity in performance ratings, overall perceptions of the organization had improved as well. Since this root cause drove nearly half of the client’s survey results, this was significant improvement indeed. Most importantly, employee turnover was reduced by over 80% and the most common reason for leaving became ‘to start a home business.’
The Standard NBRI Employee Exit Interview includes 37 questions covering 18 topics, requiring 10 to 15 minutes to complete, and is customized to achieve each organization’s specific goals for their study.
Standard Employee Exit Interview Topics
Employee Exit Interviews Related White Paper
Research is in our blood. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. Our white papers highlight our philosophy on areas of business impacted by survey research.
See for yourself:
Forecasting and Preventing Employee Turnover to Increase Profits – There are many costs involved in doing business. One of these costs is turnover. When employees leave the organization, they represent investments that are no longer reaping dividends.
View all Employee Survey White Papers by NBRI.
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provide clients with targeted actions for reducing turnover.
Employee Attitude Surveys
provide a way to improve productivity and commitment by identifying the root causes of workplace attitudes.
Employee Engagement Surveys
measure the extent to which employees are passionate about their work and emotionally committed to their coworkers and company.
Employee Opinion Surveys
can be morale-boosting for those who may not have many other opportunities to express their views confidentially.
Employee Satisfaction Surveys
allow for increased productivity, job satisfaction, and loyalty by identifying the root causes of employee satisfaction and targeting these areas.
Organizational Assessment Surveys
offer accurate identification and measurement of the key drivers of financial performance of a company.
provide feedback from members of an employee's immediate work circle, such as subordinates, peers, and supervisors, as well as self-evaluation.