Why are My Employees Leaving? The Benefits of Exit Interviews
So many of our employees are leaving and we need to find out why. How can we find out? Should we just ask them ourselves?
When it comes to conducting exit interviews, take into consideration that the best approach to finding out what’s really causing turnover is likely not to be directly asked by you. Organizations that implement an internal process for conducting exit interviews with employees that have already left see participation rates as low as 20%. You can’t exactly get a lot of meaningful data from those kinds of numbers. Having a third party handle the exit interview process has several advantages – guaranteed confidentiality helping ensure you get honest results, resources in place across different methodologies to collect feedback that proves truly actionable, and a much higher participation rate as well as a seamless process for your organization.
When a former employee is contacted by an internal member of staff, they may question the confidentiality of their feedback. Will the person receiving the feedback maintain confidentiality? Who internally will have access to the feedback if kept on record? When employees are not comfortable with confidentiality, this can lead to inflated “tell-them-what-they-want-to-hear” answers to questions or an unwillingness to participate at all. A third party can help overcome this tendency since it can include interviewers who are unaffiliated with the former employer. When a former employee understands their feedback is being provided to a third party, they are not only more likely to participate, they are also instantly more comfortable being honest and candid with their feedback, resulting in a more accurate idea of issues that can be addressed within the organization.
Conducting exit interviews internally requires designating personnel, time, and defining processes. How many former employees will need to be contacted? How often will attempts be made to contact? How will they be contacted? If contact happens over the phone, how much time will need to be set aside to receive full feedback? Once this is determined, who would fill the role? Would it be added to an employee’s existing workload or would it require additional time and expense to fill a new position? How long will it take to train the person on process. With a third party focusing on the exit interviews, the process is much simpler and client satisfaction much higher because the resources are already in place. By involving trained interviewers, not only are they effective in reaching out to a client’s former employees and conducting the exit interviews over the phone in a professional manner, but they are ready to begin right away. When you have a full team of interviewers you can make contact attempts that span over different times of day and time zones, increasing the likelihood of reaching the respondent. Email contact can also be easily and professionally coordinated and distributed as well as standard mail. A third party managing the process of acquiring a client’s former employee feedback can save a client a lot of time and headache trying to manage the necessary resources on their own.
Another aspect of internally managing obtaining feedback is determining the method of how the feedback will be acquired. What options will a former employee have to submit their feedback? Over the phone, online, or on paper? A single option, or more than one? Once this is determined, the resources to enable the chosen method, or methods would need to be created. A third party can offer for than one method for providing feedback, allowing for a higher rate of participation. Phone, and online surveys are popular methods. When a choice of more than one method is offered, exited employees will be more likely to provide feedback via their preferred method. Offering the ability to easily access a survey to complete online, including a computer or mobile device, is extremely convenient and a quick way to submit feedback. For some people, verbally answering questions over the phone is preferred. An incoming call is easy to pick up and provides an immediate opportunity to complete a survey. Phone messages also give a person the information they need to call back to complete the survey at their convenience. A third party focused on obtaining feedback for a client is also dedicated to offering methods to bring in as much feedback as possible.
Finding out why your employees are leaving through an internal exit interview process may seem like a simple and straightforward process, but taking into consideration all the questions that need answering, processes that must be in place, methodologies that ought to be offered, and how to compile and analyze the feedback in a meaningful way for your company, it quickly goes from a simple and easy to a huge undertaking. Using a third party dedicated to client satisfaction and obtaining results that allow you to take action is an easy “yes.” People Element has the experience and resources in place to help your business obtain high-quality feedback that leads to action that increases your retention rates.