As a leading Kansas City staffing agency, Morgan Hunter knows that having your star talent hand in their two weeks notice is like a sucker punch to the gut. You’ve counter-offered and counter-offered again. But, alas, they are set upon leaving. What can you do?
While losing top talent is always a big blow to a company, don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn from the experience. What you do learn, if put into practice, can help you avoid high turnover in the future.
The best way to learn? Conduct an exit interview. But in order to get the most out of it, you need to approach it in the right away. To help you, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Don’t let the employee’s manager conduct the exit interview.
Many employees leave their companies because of an issue with their direct supervisor. So by letting this person conduct the interview, you’re not only sending a hostile message to the soon-to-be former employee, but you’re also not going to garner any useful information…making the interview pointless. Instead, have a neutral party – like an HR professional – conduct the interview. You’re much more likely to get open, unfiltered feedback when you do.
Don’t conduct the interview right after their resignation.
When an employee finally decides to resign, emotions are running high. It’s likely a decision they’ve pondered for weeks and have dreaded handing in their two-week notice. Once they do, you may be in a bit of shock and even panic mode. That’s why this is not a good time to conduct an exit interview.
Instead, if the employee is staying on for two weeks, conduct the exit interview a few days before they leave. That will give everyone some time to gain perspective and hopefully offer more constructive feedback as a result.
Dig deep with lots of follow up questions.
Sure, the employee’s new company may offer better pay or benefits. But is that the real reason why they’re leaving? There was something that happened that made them want to leave in the first place, before they even landed the new job offer. So what was it?
Your goal during an exit interview should be to find out what that thing was – whether it was one incident, or many factors over time. And the best way to do that is to ask pointed questions and follow up. The employee’s first answer is likely to be a canned response. But when you ask follow up questions – tell me more, what do you mean?, can you offer more detail? – you’re more likely to get to the root of the real issue.
Put what you learned into action.
Unfortunately, most companies simply file away exit interview forms, never to be heard from again. But there’s no point in going through the process if this is what you’re going to do. If you don’t want the truth, then don’t ask for it!
Instead, when you get a valid criticism, take it to heart and do something about it so other great employees don’t leave because of it.
Need to fill the shoes of a former employee? Let Morgan Hunter know. As a leading Kansas City staffing agency, we’ve helped companies throughout the area secure their most valuable asset – quality employees. And we can help you too! Contact us today if you’re ready to find out more.