The End of The Exit Interview
In an ideal world, your people wouldn’t be leaving at all, but sometimes they just have to go. Wouldn’t it be great though if you had asked them about their experience sooner?
Throughout my career in leadership, I was always confused and annoyed that our only data point on someone’s experience working with us, was in an exit interview.
Everything About Them Is Too Late
You are getting information from your people about their time with your company too late. It’s too late to intervene if there is a problem. It’s too late to give praise that can make someone feel valued. It’s too late to provide feedback that could change the outcome of a project. Everything about them is like a final ditch effort or tick box exercise. Nothing about them says to your people, we value you, your opinion and your experience working here.
So what can we do differently?
Be curious. When you learn about a problem, you should take the action required to make improvements. By taking action at the right time, you can intervene before something small becomes a bigger problem. Your people will notice when you do and respect it.
Don’t wait until your people exit to check in. By linking in regularly, not only will you have greater insight into what’s happening for your people and your company, but you are empowering them by giving them a voice and a space to use it.
You need to strike while the iron is hot, especially when it comes to feedback. When a specific project is wrapping up, that’s when you acknowledge great work. Real-time feedback has a positive impact. Leaving it until the event surrounding it is a distant memory, means your feedback will feel exactly like that, distant, disconnected and end up carrying little weight.
Whether it’s in the feedback, check-ins, or whatever you choose to do differently, ensure it’s consistent and tailored to how you work. This builds trust with your people and goes a long way in creating a better culture and employee experience.
One thing’s for sure. Exit interviews are no longer going to cut it.