What went wrong?
Posted on July 30, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
It is an inevitability that individuals leave their jobs. Sometimes leaving a position is a result of dissatisfaction with something within the organization (e.g., the manager, the hours, the tasks were too difficult/easy for the employee’s skills, etc.) and sometimes it’s a result of external factors such as a spouse’s job relocation or better opportunities elsewhere. There are many reasons why an employee may terminate his or her employment and often times this information is not well utilized by supervisors. Information regarding employee turnover can be evaluated to improve the work environment for current and future employees if leaders find that an organizational deficiency does exist.
Exit interviews are quickly becoming common practice among employers to better understand why employees voluntarily leave their organization. This insight can provide very specific details as to what went wrong for an employee in terms of his or her satisfaction. Not asking these questions prevents employers from learning and improving on the problems noted in an exit interview.
Turnover can also be addressed by training organization leaders to effectively manage exit interviews and to systematically compile data into a useful tool for overall improvement. One should note that it is not enough to merely listen to employees’ complaints as they leave a company, but it is absolutely crucial to collect hard data over time as an objective measure of organizational needs rather than a subjective anecdote. Not only does this improve accuracy of exit information gathered, over time it can help employers to assess any progress toward higher employee satisfaction.
Gordon, M. E. (2011). The dialectics of the exit interview: A fresh look at conversations about organizational disengagement. Management Communication Quarterly, 25, 59-86.