The answers to exit interview questions provide business owners with the feedback they need to understand why their employees are leaving. As such, they give your business the opportunity to learn and grow. To help ensure that you receive actionable, constructive feedback, ask the following five questions in every exit interview.

1. Why have you decided to leave the company?

Employees leave organizations for a variety of reasons, and in many instances, it is not because they are dissatisfied with their current role. Reasons to leave a job often include major life events, such as making a career change, choosing to stay home with children, returning to school or if a spouse's job requires moving to another state. By asking exit interview questions like this one, you will be able to track why your employees are choosing to leave, better understand whether it's a reflection of your business and make any necessary changes to help limit departures.

2. Did the duties and demands of the job match your expectations?

The job description given to an applicant should align with the actual job responsibilities they will be expected to perform. Applicants typically want a certain position because the advertised role and the associated tasks and responsibilities appeal to them. If the job does not live up to their expectations, you may end up with a dissatisfied employee. The feedback from this question should give you actionable insights into how to represent a particular position more accurately the next time around.

3. Did you have the proper resources and tools to do your job effectively?

A lack of proper resources can cause stress for employees. This question can help you gauge where you need to invest in more resources — for example, training and development opportunities or updated software.

4. What did you like most about working here?

It's always great to hear what your business is doing right, and it's important to document these findings in order to keep up the good work. Answers to this question should also help you gain insight into what investments are making a positive difference in your workplace. These might include initiatives aimed at improving employee engagement or nurturing professional growth.

5. What did you like least about working here?

It's also important to learn what areas of your business are in need of improvement. Be sure to proactively address any complaints made by departing employees. This question may also provide valuable feedback that can help fuel your future decisions. For instance, if departing sales personnel found it stressful to work during peak business hours, in the future, you may want to schedule additional employees during high volume periods to help mitigate the workload. Decisions like these can also positively affect customer service.

Exit Interview Tips and Wrap-Up

Have someone other than the employee's direct supervisor lead the interview to help elicit the most candid responses. Always end the meeting on a positive note and wish the departing employee the best in their new endeavors.

After the interview, the interviewer should communicate any applicable feedback to managers or supervisors. From there, document the responses in a spreadsheet so you can monitor trends over time. What you learn will allow you to make valuable adjustments to your business, which may help you improve retention and employee engagement in the long run.

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Tags: Interviews employee turnover