What is the first thing you would do if you started losing your key customers to your competitors?
Well the simplest way to find out why they are leaving and stop the loss of business is to obviously ask them. To find out what made them leave you and what attracted them to another supplier.
In the same way, you should make ‘exit interviews’ with employees who leave your business a standard part of your procedures.
Usually conducted in their last few days, an exit interview is a conversation between you and the person who is leaving which allows you to obtain valuable information from them which will help you keep staff in the future.
Some of the questions you may consider asking are:
1. What are your reasons for leaving?
2. With hindsight, what could we have done differently to have retained you?
3. How long have you been thinking about leaving?
4. What was the catalyst that triggered you to leave?
5. If you were in my shoes, what 3 changes would you make here?
6. Who do they know that would be suited to this role? (you may not want to take someone they recommend, but who better to know the best person for the job?)
Remember that they are actually helping you here by sharing what could be valuable information. So be positive, don’t take criticisms personally.
There may be things you do not agree with – but don’t be defensive. Be dignified and thank them for their feedback.
If you do this consistently with every person that leaves you’ll get a clearer picture of what motivates your staff and what you could do to improve employee satisfaction (and therefore retention).
Ensure that you conduct an exit interview consistently with every leaver regardless of whether they are going to a competitor, moving out of town, taking a career break or even retiring. They’ll all have something valuable to tell you.
This information is priceless. You may not be able to use it to keep the person who is leaving, but you can certainly use it to prevent others leaving and so save yourself a lot of time, money and effort in recruiting and training replacements.
© 2006 Authentic Resourcing All Rights Reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sital Ruparelia, “The Recruitment & Retention Specialist" works with small businesses that struggle with recruitment and retention issues and helps them implement strategies proven to Find and Keep the Right People consistently.
Sital writes a FREE newsletter twice a month with insider tips on how to Find And Keep The Right People. To sign up now, visit http://www.authenticresourcing.com .