Exit interviews, the sacred cow?

Exit interviews, the sacred cow?

“It’s a closer commute.”

“I wanted to take time off work to go travelling.”

“I’m leaving for personal reasons. I’ve learned a lot here and will miss the people I worked with.”

But it’s not always as black and white as that.

The very reasons people are leaving sound exactly the same as when somebody break up with the person they’re dating. “It’s not you; it’s me.”

In other words, expect a very polite lie. Exit interviews have long been a one-way street.

What went wrong? Why are they leaving? You’ve missed the point.

If you haven’t been asking your employees about their concerns and grievances while they were employed and what would keep them at the company at least for another year, you aren’t going to have a “come to Jesus” experience reading the dark satire of an employee no longer at your company.

The exit interview shouldn’t be the first time employees are asked how they think about things.

That’s because the time for learning is past. The time for a better conversation is past.

The worst time to read advice is right after a break-up.

It’s too late to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Sure, you want constructive feedback.

But by all means a departing employee is the last person who’s going to give it to you straight.

There is very little upside in a tell-all exit interview.

It’s not the idea that’s broken, it’s the focus.

Foster the conversation each day. Talk through challenges.

Everybody wins this way.

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