By Danielle Ezell – Consultant, The Mettise Group

You probably spend lots of time asking potential employees questions, but why aren’t you asking even more when a team member voluntarily decides to leave your organization? Taking as little as 30 minutes to visit with an employee as they walk out the door is as important as their initial interview.

In the best cases, you’ll learn that you simply couldn’t compete when it came to salary or benefits. In the worst cases, you’ll learn about problems with key managers or that your organization lacked advancement opportunities. The good news is that you can solve those types of problems once you know about them.

And not all is lost. About half the time if you have this discussion quickly after a resignation has been submitted you can even save the situation and keep the employee.

Voluntary turnover costs 25% or more of the position’s annual salary so it’s well worth taking the time to understand why an employee is breaking up with you.  Best practice is do both a written exit survey using a tool like SurveyMonkey as well as an actual exit interview conducted by the business owner or another top leader who isn’t the individual’s supervisor.

Here’s a list of some of the questions you should always ask:

  • What attracted you to your new position?
  • Is your compensation and benefits going up, down or staying the same?
  • Did you have the tools and resources you needed to do your job here?
  • Did the work you were doing align with your professional goals and interests?
  • How was your relationship with your supervisor? Did he/she give you the support and feedback you expected?
  • Would you recommend this as a great place for a friend to work?

Danielle Ezell facilitates Leadership Posses for The Mettise Group and serves as a consultant on various projects. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources and has her Accreditation in Public Relations.