Monday, June 2, 2014

Exit Interviews: A Key to Quality Improvement

Exit Interviews: A Key to Quality Improvement

As owners and leaders of organizations, we often overlook a potential key element to improve our company’s bottom line; exit interviews.  When properly conducted, the exit interview could be a valuable source of information and could catapult your organization to the next level.  As we discussed in the article, Human Resource Development Best Practices, our employees are our greatest asset and one of our greatest stakeholders.  So, it would stand to reason that we want to know how they really feel about the organization and how it is run.    Unfortunately or fortunately, you may get your best critical analysis from an exiting employee.  They have nothing to lose by giving you their true and honest opinions about the company.

There are a couple of ways to go about conducting these interviews.  The exit interview could be done in person (which is the best option) or remotely (online anonymous survey).  I personally think it is a good idea to have the interview conducted in person by someone in the organization who did not work as a direct supervisor of the employee. Having the interview conducted by the direct supervisor could potentially make the interview uncomfortable.  Feelings could get in the way of getting and receiving the best feedback.  The exiting employee may fear retaliation or hard feelings from the supervisor which could affect getting a good recommendation.  Anonymous interviews are also a great option for getting honest feedback. There are services like SurveyMonkey that could be used as a good start.

Here are a few examples of questions that could be used during the exit interview:

What was your overall satisfaction level in your job? 1-5
If you rated 1-3, did you share your dissatisfaction with you supervisor.
What is the reason for leaving the company?
Was there a single event that caused your decision to leave?
What did you like most about your job?

It is not enough just to ask the good questions, you have to be willing to take the information and use it to improve your organization.  It may be difficult to hear some of the negative responses, but those comments may very well be the ones that, if properly addressed, could cause an improvement in employee satisfaction and in turn increase your bottom line revenue.

Contact Networx for training and development for the Early Childhood Professional.

Tina Oliver, M.Ed.
Training and Development Specialist,
Early Childhood Training, Resource and Consulting Company

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