Exit survey


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Instead of obsessing on churn rates, develop an ideal customer departure plan to gain valuable insights. A well-coordinated customer departure procedure improves client retention and experience. Instead of feeling awful about rising churn rates, you should focus on doing an effective exit survey and interview. This will provide you with useful information. The exit survey is one of the most effective ways to keep a positive relationship with the consumer.

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What is an exit survey?

An exit interview or exit survey conducted at the conclusion of an employee’s tenure with you is the most effective technique to learn why employees leave your organization. You may spot trends, learn from them, and take action to decrease attrition, such as better hiring techniques for new workers or changes to your corporate culture and management styles.

It’s an opportunity to learn from the positive and negative experiences of previous employees. The procedure can be carried out in person, via forms, or by an exit interview survey.

Examples of exit survey questions

  • How long have you been in this position?

Long-term employee turnover, which has accumulated knowledge and abilities, has a higher impact than the loss of a relatively new worker. There might be distinct patterns or difficulties causing important present employees to resign.

  • What were the highlights and lowlights of your job?

Each employee appreciates various aspects of the job, and understanding this person’s perspective may aid in identifying evident similarities. To keep the position interesting, good qualities might be promoted.

  • In comparison to comparable organizations, how fair did you think your entire compensation package (salary + benefits + any equity) was?

This question will help you determine whether you are competitive in the larger employer market. It’s possible that the employee enjoys working with you but has gotten an offer that is too excellent to pass up.

  • Was there a particular incident or person that influenced your choice to leave?

According to a Gallup employee engagement poll, 50 percent of Americans have left a job to “get away from their management at some point in their career.” If staff are quitting for a specific reason, this must be addressed immediately.

  • How would you characterize the company’s culture?

Your perspective on the corporate culture as a senior executive may differ from that of the employees on the ground. Check to see if the company’s cultural values are evident, or if more needs to be done to define them.

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Importance of conducting exit surveys

The hiring procedure is costly and time-consuming. If, at the end, you hire employees who will only be with your organization for a short time:

  • You squander both time and money on recruitment.
  • Every time someone departs, they take a piece of corporate knowledge or a procedure with them.
  • Leavers might be critics, harming your company’s reputation.

By giving leaving workers the chance to provide candid feedback, you may get vital insights on how to enhance the employee experience for current and prospective employees.

Only roughly one-third of employees who leave a company complete an exit interview. Given the potential value of leaving information, all businesses would benefit from encouraging every departing employee to participate in exit surveys.

An exit survey is only a means to a goal. The objective is not to keep the employee from leaving. Instead, it is to study and use it in order to get insights that will help retain people, avoid bad hiring, enhance management processes, and ultimately drive improved organizational performance.

It truly pays benefits in the long run to devote time, energy, and attention into determining why individuals leave in order to reduce future attrition.

Intentions of good exit survey

An efficient departure interview provides useful information:

  • Formally ends the employee/employer relationship in a productive and beneficial manner.
  • First-hand employee experience data and actionable insights on their surroundings, team, management, position, and corporate culture are provided.
  • Determines if the former employee would recommend your firm to others  
  • Understands why they opted to leave, so you can understand how this corresponds with your organization’s attrition risk profile
  • Identifies any faults or areas of the business that require attention.

Exit interview survey formats are widely utilized to maximize remaining time and promote flexibility for a mobile, remote, or foreign workforce.

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What makes an exit survey effective?

In contrast to a standard engagement survey, which analyses constructs based on employee opinions, an exit survey should be far more practical and easier to develop and understand.

Different exit surveys can collect various forms of input. Some want direct criticism about the departing employee’s management, while others just inquire about the position and reasons for leaving. It is good to look beyond the typical departure interview questions in order to adapt them so that your organization obtains more insight.

It employs open text fields and multiple-choice questions to elicit deep detail and subtleties concerning an employee’s decision to depart. Text analytics software may automatically evaluate language and analyze sentiment to provide insight into what your current workers truly believe. You may establish topics, themes, and trends to assist you in identifying patterns in data.

The finest exit surveys:

  • Have a goal in mind: As said straight at the start: ‘Assist us in learning more about your choice to depart.’
  • Thank the employee for their service by saying something like, ‘We sincerely value the job you’ve done with us, and we’re sorry to see you depart!’
  • Encourage open communication by administering online surveys, which yield more frank comments (as well as relevant data) than a standard face-to-face interview.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions, especially those that shed light on apparent flaws in your company.
  • Are automated through a digital open door by connecting an employee feedback platform to your HRIS to automatically send a request for input when an employee submits their notice, minimizing the amount of time human resources personnel must spend physically conducting the surveys.
  • Learn about the impact of attrition by combining data from various sources. By combining departure interview data with 360 performance data or employee engagement data, for example, you may begin to detect regretful and non-regrettable attrition.
  • Identify certain teams, jobs, or populations with greater attrition rates and take efforts to not just understand why they’re departing, but also how you can prevent it from occurring again.
  • Track trends over time in order to assess improvements and relate them to key performance indicators (KPIs) such as employee turnover costs in order to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of your changes.
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Uses of exit surveys to improve performance

1. Orientation

A successful onboarding experience is designed to create a favorable tone for a new hire’s first day at the organization. If colleagues believe they were left to their own devices or were not properly supported in their early days on the job, you can find out during the leaving interview.

2. Striking the proper work-life balance

Exit interviews are important in gauging how colleagues feel about how flexible (or not) your organization is, and if it fosters a good work-life balance in a post-pandemic era. When leaving workers complain about inflexibility affecting their workplace morale and/or engagement, it’s time to consider becoming a more contemporary organization.

3. Corporate culture

You will be able to detect trends in the data by analyzing business culture in departure interviews. Is toxic behavior prevalent in the workplace? Are the working hours at your workplace too long? Are teams well-coordinated enough? Is the leaving due to personal reasons?

4. Management effectiveness 

As the phrase goes, “people don’t quit jobs, they leave managers.” Exit interviews will disclose how managers interacted with, supported, and taught their employees. You may then explore employing 360-degree feedback programmes to train your managers, increasing the likelihood that your present personnel will stay.

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How to get the cognizance out of exit surveys?

  • Make the departure interview a normal component of the off-boarding process, and employ automated solutions to decrease workload.
  • Conduct the departure interview after workers have decided to leave but before they leave the organization. Employees are less likely to reply to the survey once they have left the building.
  • Keep employee exit interview questions brief and basic by focusing on analyzing various work components and highlighting areas where change is required.
  • Interview questions containing sentiments and emotions should be approached with caution, especially if you have just let an employee leave.
  • Assure the responder that their input will be kept private. It should not be discussed directly with their manager, and you should emphasize that it will not affect any references they may seek in the future.

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Conducting a successful exit survey

Exit surveys will collect several forms of vital input. Some want direct criticism about the person’s management, but others just inquire about the function and reasons for leaving.

“If an exit survey is difficult to comprehend, you should consider revamping the survey.”

Exit interviews should also enable you to segment data according to performance levels, tenure, and function.

Unlike an engagement survey, which is based on employee sentiments, a departure survey should be considerably more practical and easier to develop and analyze. If your departure survey is difficult to comprehend, you might try revamping it.

Include a few open text options in your survey as well; these frequently elicit rich detail and subtleties concerning an employee’s decision to quit when compared to multiple-choice questions.

While these have typically been difficult to convert into insights, text analytics tools can process language and sentiment analysis to automatically analyze thousands of open-text comments.

This generates topics, themes, and trends, allowing you to identify patterns and analyze the data.

Best Practices of exit surveys

  • Meet in person if possible: When conducting an exit interview, it is essential to meet in person so that the employee understands the significance of the encounter. However, if the employee feels more at ease conversing on the phone, you may provide them that option.
  • Tell the employee why you’re conducting a departure interview: An employee should understand why you are doing the departure interview so that they may respond correctly and understand that their responses can make a difference.
  • Ask the same questions to every employee. One purpose for asking the same questions to employees is to uncover trends. For example, if several employees in the marketing department leave over the course of a year, you may be able to identify a trend that the firm or department should address.
  • Make it clear to the employee that they are not required to answer all questions. Employees might offer facts about their job experience during the leaving interview. Employees should be aware that they have the option of declining to respond if they so want.
  • If you are accused of harassment or discrimination, you must follow process: Even if an employee is departing, it is critical that you examine any allegations as if the individual were still employed by the firm.

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What to avoid during an exit survey?

  • Do not inquire about particular persons: You don’t want to come out as interrogating someone for a specific motive. Inquiring specifically about someone may give the employee the false impression that you are seeking to create a case against them. The only exception is if you ask a broad inquiry on management.
  • Don’t bring up office gossip: Do not engage if an employee decides to talk office slander or rumor. You should consider informing the employee that they are free to express their thoughts, but that you cannot and do not have an opinion on the subject.
  • Don’t share your thoughts: This is the employee’s opportunity to speak, so listen carefully, ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand what they’re saying, support them throughout the process, and provide a secure atmosphere for them to feel comfortable being honest with you.
  • Do not request that an employee rethink: A manager may wish to ask an employee to rethink once the person has given two weeks’ notice, but not during the leaving interview. The interview is used to learn more about an employee’s experience.


 An employee may quit a company for a variety of reasons, including finding a better-fitting job or encountering a hostile work environment. Many organizations want to know why an employee chooses to work somewhere else, and an exit interview may help them find out. An exit interview can be beneficial to an employee since it allows them to talk candidly about their experience.

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