Viewing Voluntary Departures as a Way to Strengthen Employee Retention
When people are asked to articulate what they believe to be the role of a human resources department, it should not be surprising if many responses were short and to the point, i.e. it is the area in a company that is responsible for hiring and firing staff. This may be the case because these are likely the two aspects of the job that are most visible to other employees, with the latter potentially being the reason for the former.
There are indeed many other key areas of focus for those in the human resources function, perhaps not as overt as the two stated above but vital to the organization nonetheless; one very important area of emphasis is employee retention, or the capability of the organization to avoid the voluntary departure of staff members.
Of course, very few businesses could boast that they have never lost any employees in this manner as there will always be departures for such reasons as career changes, relocation of a spouse or partner, personal/private family matters and more. Yet ironically, such types of departures can actually play a role in strengthening employee retention – through a process known as exit interviews.
Exit interviews Can Play a Vital Role in Maintaining or Improving Retention Rates
Employee retention is one of the most critical issues facing companies today
An exit interview is essentially a discussion held with an employee who is about the leave an organization for reasons other than termination. The outcomes of these exit interviews or discussions can in turn be used to evaluate what should be improved, changed, or remain in place within the company to help improve or maintain employee retention rates.
The context of an exit interview will typically centre on the employee’s specific reason(s) for leaving the company, as well as their overall experience while in its employ; cumulatively, the results of such discussions can ultimately be quite beneficial with respect to:
Furthermore, employers can use exit interview results to identify and address other factors that can have an impact on employee retention rates, positively or negatively, including:
To ensure objectivity on the part of the employer and encourage openness by the departing employee, the RightFit Plus team has developed an exit interview questionnaire that can be used in its standard form by a member of your Human Resources staff or customized to include questions that are of specific interest to your department and/or your organization.
Paraphrasing an oft-cited quote, those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. In essence, exit interviews are a way to learn from the past, and to make any necessary changes to strengthen and improve the present and the future of an organization.