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The Secret to Developing Effective Exit Interview Questions

Updated for 2023


The Purpose of Exit Interviews

Human resources professionals use Exit Interviews to understand employee turnover, with the purpose of using the information to make changes that increase retention of current employees. Although widely implemented, human resources practitioners often do not use a methodology that delivers critical objectives of Exit Interviews and they come up short on implementing meaningful changes that improve retention.


Why You Want to Ask High Quality Exit Interview Questions

Exit Interviews are widely used tools, intended to provide the reasons why employees leave with insights to help inform changes to prevent further turnover. However, Exit Interviews are conducted through internal interviews with supervisors that do not deliver honest reasons or through quantitative surveys that provide only a rating. Although efficient and turnkey, these methods do not provide the truth or reasons to explain the ratings. Unfortunately, human resources managers fall short of obtaining true insight with detailed explanations to make specific and meaningful improvements in retention because their organization’s Exit Interview process leaves much to be desired.


7 Key Topics to Cover in Your Exit Interview Questions:

When implementing Exit Interviews for your organization, ensure the data will deliver the information necessary to effectively reduce turnover by addressing these seven topics:

  1. Identify the real reasons why employees left
  2. Accurately identify opportunities for improvement
  3. Understand attitudes around workplace conditions: organization, manager, team and job
  4. Develop highly targeted strategies to prevent turnover
  5. Discover what it would take to win employees back
  6. Uncover potential compliance issues
  7. Reveal where employees are going to work and why


Contact Work Institute for Help With Exit Interviews

When organizations are able to generate answers to these issues from exiting employees, they are able to utilize the insight to inform targeted interventions that increase retention. Ensure your methodology delivers upon the objectives of Exit Interviews and don’t settle for less. If you want expert help developing quality exit interview questions and completing comprehensive and impactful exit interviews, visit our contact page for more information on how you can get in touch with the Work Institute team. Plus, we additionally provide a number of other professional services such as leadership development and onboarding studies.