It's a tough time when one of your most valued workers leaves your firm. When an employee leaves, they take with them all the valuable time, effort and resources you invested in them. They leave behind a gap in the workforce which you will have to try hard to fill.
It is quite understandable why HR is left flustered in such a situation. They have to spend time discussing exit settlements. Even for the smoothest of transistions, the department has to find and groom another employee to fill the shoes. Otherwise, it would even be necessary to source and hire an similarly abled person.
In the bustle of it all, most of us forget to answer the simplest, yet most fundamental, question that would arise: Why did he/she leave in the first place? In a fiercely competitive market, it is of primal importance to groom, nurture and retain talented employees. Yet, when an employee walks out of the door, we hardly try to understand how our company could attract and retain top talent in the future.
This is why an exit interview is of crucial importance. It is the last chance for you to get honest and effective feedback from someone who had worked with you. An exit interview should be more than a casual chat over lunch, or a bleakly designed generic feedback form. Rather, it should be a subjective analysis of the person's experience at your firm, and a sound understanding of how this information can be exectued to improve your organization's processes, structure and values.
The Red Tape
When a person leaves your workplace, there are several administrative processes involved. There might even be a few legal and compliance issues. Questions of this manner should be addressed directly. Take time to recover company property, discuss severance pay and benefits, and review non-disclosure and non-compete agreements.
Raison de Partir
Next, try to find out the reasons why they want to leave. While most often these might be personal and subjective, you will soon find subcutaneous trends. Start a constructive conversations and then throw in a few questions. Did they face problems settling in with the company culture? Did it have anything to do with the compensation, work-life balance, etc.?
Where to get Better
It is always important to get the employees perspective on the reasons they found the match inadequate. This might help you understand how certain everyday processes, which you take for granted, actually work out detrimentally to employee morale. Ask them pointed questions – whether your workflow is efficient, or whether you offer opportunities for professional growth – to guage overall employee experience.
Offloading, while being a strenuous exercise, can help you get valuable insight on employee engagement and retention practices. So make sure you seize the opportunity, and bid adieu on a cordial, professional note.