In our previous article, we discussed, ‘The Importance of Open Feedback in Exit Interviews’ for an honest and direct review of your organisation. When a resignation is amicable and your employee is simply moving on, feedback helps address any ongoing issues which could cause further resignations if left unresolved. Therefore, exit interviews should not be viewed as a ‘tick-boxing exercise’, but a useful learning tool.
If you have recently completed an exit interview, how can you use this information to improve your organisation?
1. Reflect on Previous Employee’s Role
Rather than moving right back into recruitment mode, look at the role the candidate filled, and ask the following questions:
- Is this an opportunity to recruit from within and retain an existing employee?
- Is there a change that could and should be made to the role, working arrangements, or terms and conditions of employment based on what the feedback was?
- Will the vacancy, and possible internal promotion, show staff there is a career path within the workplace?
It’s important to consider what talent you currently have within your organisation and how to utilise those resources. You should review the previous employee’s role and evaluate if their exact position is what you now require, or if it needs updating.
2. Evaluate Negative Feedback
If there was an open environment during the exit interview, then there may be negative feedback to consider. It is important to reflect on any negative feedback with an open mindset and avoid becoming defensive.
Here are some useful questions to reflect upon:
- If there was an issue raised with workplace culture, how can we improve this?
- If there was an issue with a specific individual, how do we address this in an appropriate manner?
- Do we need to reassess the structure of our organisation?
- Do we need to improve the overall communication within our organisation?
- Should we conduct an anonymous survey with our current employees? Are there repetitive concerns?
- Acknowledging the feedback provided, how can we ensure our organisation has a positive working environment?
3. Implement the feedback positively
Follow up the exit interview with an opportunity to bring your team together, and suggest positive changes to implement, even if you didn’t receive any negative feedback. Perhaps your current employees can highlight what the organisation does well, what makes them happy at work, and potential areas for development. This should be a positive experience and used as a team-building exercise to ensure staff turnover remains low, and any issues are addressed.
Exit interviews can help employers stop the tide of mass resignations, by providing an opportunity to learn from experience. Where employees are simply moving on and departing on good terms, this is the perfect chance to receive invaluable feedback from inside your organisation.
This golden opportunity should always be seized and utilised fully. Any manager or director afraid of what they may hear in this interview can expect further retention issues, and could fall victim to a continued cycle of resignations.
If an employee in your organisation has recently resigned and you are seeking new talent, contact Fergal O’Sullivan, Director of Talent Management at 2into3 for assistance.
Co- Author: Kevin Callan, LL.B BL is Chief HR Officer with HR Duo.