Skip to main content

Losing an employee can sometimes be a costly and disheartening experience, but there are ways to save money, reduce your turnover and improve your retention rate. That’s where exit interviews come in. They provide the perfect opportunity for you to better understand the reason behind an employee choosing to leave your company, giving you an opportunity to correct it and prevent any further loss of staff.

What’s are exit interviews?

An exit interview is usually held face-to-face before an employee leaves your business. It’s an opportunity for the departing employee to provide honest and constructive feedback on what you as an employer are doing well, as well as highlighting any areas in which they feel improvement may be necessary.

Why are they so useful?

Holding exit interviews aren’t a legal requirement under UK employment law. But I personally feel that they should be because the feedback gained from them can prove invaluable when it comes to recruitment, engagement and staff retention.

As an employer it’s essential that you know what employees think of their recruitment/onboarding and induction experience, work environment, management, workload, culture, learning and training opportunities and career progression. It’s important to know why employees want to leave, whether they felt happy, motivated, appreciated, or not and if there is anything else that needs to be changed.

Knowing this information means you can address any areas of concern, fix any issues and ensure that your next hire is more prepared, engaged and satisfied with their job. Essentially, an exit interview allows companies to improve working conditions for existing and new employees, which is great for:

  1. Learning about your competition
  2. Gaining valuable insights into management/leadership
  3. Strengthening and enhancing your company culture
  4. Improving your business strategy
  5. Showing employees that you care about their experience with your organisation enough to sort out any issues.
  6. Having a better recruitment, learning and growth strategy which will help you to better attract and retain top talent

What to ask in an exit interview

Of course there are lots of questions that you should ask in an exit interview, but it’s best not to not ask too many leading questions or make it too personal. The process should provide healthy feedback, based on an employee’s personal experience. It should not be influenced by any beliefs or assumptions that you may have. Here are a few typical interview questions that you might like to ask:

  • Why are you leaving the company?
  • What inspired you to look for another position?
  • Did you feel that you had, or were given, the tools to do your job well?
  • What recommendations do you have for onboarding new employees?
  • How do you feel about your former colleagues and managers?
  • Did you feel appreciated by your team and/or managers?
  • What were the best parts of working in this position?
  • What was the hardest part of working in this position?
  • What could we have done to keep you here?
  • Do you have any recommendations for the future?

Once the interview is complete you need to review the data you have collected to see if there are any trends with other exit interviews that may have taken place before. You should be looking to build a bigger picture of where you need to improve. But try not to act upon the feedback of just one employee, unless they mentioned something that you feel needs to be dealt with urgently.

How can I help?

If you need advice and support to establish a more effective exit interview process, or you need help to interpret the results, please get in touch 07780 692784 or

Leave a Reply