What can you learn from losing an employee?

What can you learn from losing an employee?

Employees will leave your business, it’s inevitable. The key is to make sure that you’re learning from each of them.

Perhaps they were the wrong hire for your business or perhaps they have been tempted by a better salary package? Perhaps your culture is not aligned with your employer brand or perhaps they are just relocating?

Whatever their reason for leaving, it is important for you to fully understand their drivers for change. Without taking the opportunity to learn from these employees you could be unaware of an underlying issue.

Although you can learn from your hiring by encouraging employees to share their views or concerns through employee surveys and recent hire surveys, there will also be some employees that feel unable to share their perspective or tackle problems head-on. An exit interview is a platform to understand why an employee has decided to leave and gain some direct feedback (whether that be positive or negative).

Exit interviews must be voluntary but hopefully, your leavers trust you enough so that they’re the norm. You are providing them an opportunity to share their views when they are no longer your employee, and you, in turn, are receiving valuable feedback.

If you conduct exit interviews, here are some of our tips:

  • Be clear on how the information will be used. This is about learning and improving. It’s not a witch hunt!
  • Conduct the exit interview after they have left the business. We do ours anywhere up to a week after their departure.
  • We suggest face-face exit interviews as we feel they demonstrate our commitment to listening to all our people. However, you can do telephone or online survey exit interviews.
  • Make them informal. This is a two-way conversation.
  • Listen. Don’t be defensive. Let the employee speak. You can address their comments at the end.
  • If you fear emotions may run high, consider using an external host or impartial member of the team to conduct the interview.

Exemplary Interview Questions:

  • Tell me about how you’ve come to decide to leave?
  • What is your main reason for leaving?
  • Why is this important, or so significant for you?
  • What could have been done early on to prevent the situation developing/provide a basis for you to stay with us?
  • What specific suggestions would you have for how the organization could manage this situation/these issues better in future?
  • What has been good/enjoyable/satisfying for you in your time with us?
  • What has been frustrating/difficult/upsetting to you in your time with us?
  • How well do think your training and development needs were assessed and met?
  • How would you describe the culture or ‘feel’ of the organization?
  • Were you developed/inducted adequately for your role(s)?
  • What would you say about how you were motivated, and how that could have been improved?
  • What can you say about the way you were managed? On a day to day basis? And on a month to month basis?
  • What things did the organization or management do to make your job more difficult/frustrating/non-productive?
  • What can the organization do to retain its best people?

Learning from your hiring through your employees is so important in developing your employer brand and enhancing your recruitment process.

Your employees hold most of the answers in regards to what are your company’s key selling points, the unique aspects of your company that they love, the areas in which you can improve or things they found surprising when they joined. Tap into these answers and use them to drive value and improvements into how you hire your talent.

Ask yourself, how do you learn from your hiring and employees?

  • Do you conduct an anonymous
    employee survey to understand your
    employee’s views on your culture and
    practices? (See chapter nine)
  • Do you survey your recent hires to
    understand your employer branding
    and effectiveness of your recruitment
    process? (See chapter two)
  • Do you talk to your leavers about why
    they have decided to leave, and
    gather their views on your business
    from a non–current employer

These are the sort of steps you should be taking and the questions you should be asking to gauge your employees job satisfaction, which in the long run, should help improve your retention and reduce turnover.

If you liked this, you can download the rest of the Essential Recruitment Planning Guide Below:

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