How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews
No matter how well we recruit, onboard, and train team members, people will leave your practice. When you first start building a WOW practice, some team members will find that they are no longer aligned with your vision. As you continue, people will leave for many other reasons, too. An exit interview provides a great opportunity to learn exactly what happened.
If you do not conduct exit interviews, you miss the opportunity to gain important information about your practice. Here's what you need to know about exit interviews and how to conduct one.
Why Every Practice Should Conduct Exit Interviews
One of the benefits of building a WOW practice is developing trust between you and your team members. Establishing shared goals and investing in team member development builds tremendous trust.
No matter how much trust you build, team members will sometimes still feel uncomfortable providing feedback. This is especially true with negative feedback about coworkers or the work environment. If they leave your practice without sharing the information, you may never know what changes you need to make to improve.
Exit interviews give you an opportunity to get open and honest feedback about your practice. Because the person will no longer rely upon your practice for income or see their colleagues, they are more likely to be forthcoming. These insights can help you reduce turnover and improve your practice in many ways.
How to Conduct an Exit Interview
In Delivering WOW Platinum, we recommend using a formal exit interview questionnaire to get feedback from departing employees. Using a formal questionnaire helps you standardize the process and ensure you address everything you need to address.
Exit interviews do not have to be long processes. But it's important that they be free from distraction and private in nature. Additionally, it should be comprehensive. Questions we recommend asking include:
- What is/are your reason(s) for leaving?
- If you are accepting another position, what makes it more attractive than your current position?
- How would you rate your training received at the practice?
- How would you rate the practice's pay and benefits?
- Do you have any recommendations regarding our compensation, benefits, and other reward and recognition efforts?
- How would you rate your working relationship with your supervisor?
- How would you rate your working relationship with other management staff?
- Do you believe management adequately recognized staff member contributions?
- How would you rate your working relationship with other team members?
- What did you enjoy most about your position?
- What were some of the challenges you experienced?
- Describe the qualities and characteristics of the person who is most likely to succeed in this practice.
- What suggestions do you have to make the practice an even better place to work?
- Is there anything else you would like to share as a final comment?
For answers asking people to rate their experience, we recommend asking them to rate them on a scale, such as on a scale of poor to excellent.
How to Spot Areas for Improvement From Exit Interviews
Once you record each team member's answers, conclude the exit interview. Then, immediately record your thoughts on paper while it's fresh in your mind. Specifically, ask yourself three questions:
- Did the reason for leaving expressed during the interview match the stated reason?
- Could the resignation have been averted?
- What would need to change to have averted the resignation?
Finally, record any other comments or observations from the exit interview. When doing so, focus on reflections you can revisit on your own or with practice leadership to improve the practice moving forward. Spending time to reflect on what you can do to change can help you avoid other people leaving for those reasons in the future. Also, if a team member who was not a good fit for your practice leaves, what they say during the interview can help you put things in place to avoid hiring similar team members in the future.
Do you conduct exit interviews when people leave your practice?
Building amazing teams involves attracting and retaining top-quality team members while avoiding or moving on from team members who do not fit your practice vision. Conducting exit interviews can help you with both of these goals. If you don't yet conduct exit interviews in your practice, these questions can help you get started.
If you want help, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today. There, you'll get access to top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice, including our exit interview questionnaire that gives you everything you need to conduct an effective exit interview.