Employee Exit Checklist

Areas to Consider When an Employee Leaves your Business

There comes a time when the relationship between an employer and an employee ends. Sometimes it’s an involuntary separation (termination of employment or redundancy) but at other times an employee just moves on (resignation or retirement).

While an employee’s unplanned departure may be disruptive, particularly for a smaller business, it is also an opportunity to obtain information which may be beneficial to the business.

Exit interviews with departing employees are one way of capturing information that ordinarily may not be available to you. Knowing the reason(s) for someone leaving may allow you to make changes in the workplace so that others don’t leave for the same reasons.

Exit interviews may reveal things such as:

  • Working conditions need to be improved
  • The actual job or work involved needs to be redesigned
  • Interpersonal relationships need to be managed better – for example, between individual employees or management
    recruitment, selection and induction processes are flawed or give applicants a distorted view of the job or organization, for example, you did not live up to your promise made at interview
  • Training and professional development opportunities are inadequate and need to be reviewed
  • The management practice is not achieving the required level of productivity and consequently needs to be reviewed
  • The job aspects the employee enjoyed the most and the least
  • The level of the team or organizational morale. The exit interview should be undertaken like any other interview.

Conducting the Interview:

Find a quiet, comfortable place where you will not be disturbed. Exit interviews should be conducted by a third party, which can allow for a free discussion.

Questions should not be presented like an interrogation, but rather as a means of eliciting information that may be useful to the organization. Ask questions that allow employees to give as much information as they wish. For example, ask why they are leaving and what would persuade them to stay. If they’re going to another employer, ask what attracted them to the new position. This may give you an idea of what benefits/rewards other businesses are offering and may help you to retain other employees.

Sometimes, of course, people won’t want to provide this information or may tell you what they think you want to hear. This can be frustrating, but giving departing employees the opportunity to have a say is very important. After all, they may be persuaded to come back at a later time, perhaps bringing with them new skills and ideas that may add value to your business.